European markets closed in the green on hopes the European Union and the United Kingdom will reach a Brexit deal. EU’s chief Brexit negotiator noted that it is "realistic" and "possible" the two sides will strike an agreement on Britain’s departure from the bloc within the next six to eight weeks. Meanwhile, investors also digested economic data, including GDP and industrial production figures from the UK.
The DAX increased 0.22% with Commerzbank leading the gains as it jumped 2.33%. The CAC 40 rose 0.33%, mostly helped by Carrefour whose shares surged 3.46%, while the FTSE 100 was almost flat, up 0.02%.
Pound jumps on Barnier’s Brexit remarks
The British pound advanced against the dollar and euro following comments from the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Brexit. In a speech delivered at the Bled Strategic Forum, Barnier insisted that a Brexit deal by the beginning of November is "realistic" and "possible," but added the two sides are yet to agree on several key issues, including the Irish border and protected food names. According to the EU negotiator, Britain and the EU are already "close" to reaching a deal on post-Brexit security ties.
Additionally, sterling was buoyed by positive data. The UK’s GDP grew by 0.3% in July, the fastest quarterly pace it recorded since August 2017, the country’s Office for National Statistics reported.
Apple under the weather
The Tech Giant, Apple dipped on fears of additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the company said a wide range of its products would be affected by the proposed tariffs, including the Apple Watch, AirPods and Apple Pencil, making them more expensive.
US President Donald Trump responded to Apple’s concern by stating the Cupertino-based company should consider making their products in the US instead of China. "Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China – but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive. Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting!" President Trump wrote on Twitter.
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