Major Brexit uncertainties have yet seriously to destabilise London markets, it would seem.
Sterling and share prices are proving resilient and have actually made some gains during the past month.
The difficulties of predicting the outcome of looming Parliamentary votes on Brexit has been deepened by the resignation of seven MPs from the opposition Labour Party, in large part because of their opposition to Britain leaving the European Union.
Domestic companies weather the storm
This morning, the blue-chip was down 0.52% at 7,181.81, but this followed a pattern across Europe, with markets lower in , , and . And it may be significant that the percentage fall in the FTSE 250 index, which is much more representative of domestic UK companies than is the more international FTSE 100, was lower, at 0.30%, taking it to 19,069.18.
This despite the fact that companies in the FTSE 250 may be thought more vulnerable to the fall-out from Brexit-related problems.
Both indices are higher than they were a month ago, on 21 January, when the FTSE 100 stood at 6,970.59, while the FTSE 250 was trading at 18,762.83.
The FTSE 100 has gained also during the last three months, up from 7,000.89 on 19 November, while the FTSE 250 is up over the same period from 18,540.09.
Sterling was lower this morning against the , down 0.02% at €1.1424, and lost 0.03% against the at $1.2921. But over the longer term, it has gained ground.
It was up 0.06% this morning against the , at 143.04 yen. This was higher than the 141.39 yen that it was worth on 21 January, but down on the 144.63 yen at which it traded on 19 November.
More Brexit votes to come
The seven Labour MPs who left the party yesterday had a number of complaints about the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, but a key bone of contention has been his support for the UK to go ahead and leave the EU, if not on 29 March, as scheduled, then shortly afterwards. In common with many Labour MPs, the seven want another vote on leaving, with the option of staying in the EU.
Mr Corbyn’s supporters point out that honouring the June 2016 referendum result was in Labour’s 2017 election manifesto, on which all seven were elected.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, is due to present amended withdrawal proposals to Parliament on 26 February, and if they are defeated, a vote on 27 February could give Parliament more power over the negotiations.
Honda, the car group, today denied that its decision to close its plant in Swindon in the west of England was linked to Brexit, blaming instead changes in the car market, including growing demand for electric cars.