Sterling steadies as EU considers Brexit request; stocks inch up

Wads of British Pound Sterling banknotes are stacked in piles at the Money Service Austria company’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2017. — Reuters pic
Wads of British Pound Sterling banknotes are stacked in piles at the Money Service Austria company’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2017. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Oct 23 — World stock indexes edged up today, with the S&P 500 boosted by gains in shares of Apple that offset Texas Instruments’ disappointing forecast, and the British pound steadied as European Union leaders consider London’s request for a Brexit delay.

On Wall Street, chipmakers fell along with shares of Texas Instruments, while Apple shares rose after Morgan Stanley said the iPhone maker’s soon-to-be-launched video streaming service could boost its services revenue.

“What I think is causing the hesitation is the fear of other bellwether companies also disappointing,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Sterling inched higher, with European Union leaders expected to grant a three-month extension to the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain’s departure.

“While weaker, the bottom hasn’t fallen out of the pound given that a no-deal Brexit has seemingly been taken off the table,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.

The pound was yanked down to US$1.2850 from US$1.30 after UK lawmakers put the brakes on the government’s Brexit plans again yesterday.

Sterling was last trading at US$1.289, up 0.14 per cent on the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91.94 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 26,880.04, the S&P 500 gained 4.72 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 3,000.71 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.67 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 8,109.96.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.06 per cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.05 per cent.

In commodity markets, oil prices were higher.

US crude rose 1.05 per cent to US$55.05 per barrel and Brent was last at US$60.16, up 0.77 per cent on the day.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 1.7485 per cent, from 1.766 per cent late yesterday. — Reuters

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