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Europe markets: grim PMIs puncture Brexit boost

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Europe markets: grim PMIs puncture Brexit boost

Europe markets: grim PMIs puncture Brexit boost

Europe's share markets moved up on relief at the extension of Britain's EU departure deadline, only to move down again on grim PMI surveys.

Sterling went the other way - first plunging, but then recovering - on the latest Brexit news, despite a continued sense of uncertainty over the outcome.

David Pollard reports.


Europe markets: grim PMIs puncture Brexit boost

Markets got a Brexit bounce in early trading ... But the positives soon turned sharply negative on the day's data.

PMI surveys show euro zone business activity fell back even more than expected this month .... A reminder that global trade wars continue to shape output - and market sentiment.

If for now, Brussels' late night Brexit reprieve for the UK is dominating the talk.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "Brexit will be postponed, at least until April 12.

The British either have to accept May's deal by then -- and that will not happen, I bet with you, it won't happen -- or find a new alternative for an even longer exit procedure.

Everyone knows that the EU is very, very lenient.

I don't see the UK leaving the EU without a deal." Along with the relief - some nerves over the complexity of the arrangement ... Which made for a anxious night for forex traders ... The pound plunged towards $1.30 in its biggest one-day fall this year .... before popping back up above $1.31.

SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: "What the decision today underlines is the importance of the House of Commons passing a Brexit deal next week, so we can bring an end to the uncertainty." More sterling uncertainty could still be on the way.

Currency derivative markets indicate that short term negative bets on the pound are piling up rapidly.

As for the political uncertainty: Goldman Sachs on Friday lowered its expectations of May's Brexit deal getting ratified .... From 60 to 50 per cent.

The chance of a "no-deal", it says, has moved up from 5 to 15 per cent.

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