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FTSE 100 LIVE: Pound soars as investors relax over Brexit talks edging towards no deal

The pound suffered badly against the dollar when coronavirus hit the global markets in March. British Sterling’s highest total this year is now just above $ 1.31.

It comes as the FT has reported the exchange-rate shifts shows the pound now faces “no big risks” in the next six months.

This will be the time of the December 31 exit from the EU’s single market and customs union.

“The risks priced into options markets are surprisingly moderate considering we are approaching a crunch point,” said David Riley, chief investment strategist at BlueBay Asset Management.

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FTSE 100 LIVE: Pound rose on Tuesday (Image: GETTY)

11am update: FTSE plummets as morning gains wiped out

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FTSE’s bright morning has ended with a bang, as its morning gains were all but wiped out by a massive slide.

FTSE opened at 6,104 this morning before soaring to a high of 6,166.

However, the UK index has now crashed back down to earth, dropping to 6,107 before rising slightly to 6,114.

10:00am: Co-operative Bank to cut hundreds of jobs

The Co-operative Bank has said it plans to cut around 350 jobs.

The bank announced it planned to close 18 branches and reduces middle management and head office roles.

The branches will close by December 1 this year.

The sites were chosen after analysing footfall to branches over the last 12 months.

More customers are choosing to bank online, and making fewer transactions in branches, chief executive Andrew Bester said.

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Mr Bester said: “Our people have shown great dedication and commitment to our customers over the past few months, so we are very sorry to announce this news today.

“Unfortunately, we’re not immune to the impact of recent events, with the historically low base rate affecting the income of all banks and a period of prolonged economic uncertainty ahead, which means it’s important we reduce costs and have the right-sized operating model in place for the future.

“At the same time, we are responding to the continuing shift of more and more customers choosing to bank online, with lower levels of transactions in branches, a trend which has been increasing for some time, across the banking sector and more broadly.”

9.40am: EU markets enjoy slow but steady start to day

Like FTSE, EU markets have had a positive start to the day.

Euronext 100 is up 0.55%, CAC 40 is up 0.70%, DAX is up 0.60% and Swiss Market Index is up 0.17%.

8.15am update: FTSE soars on open

FTSE has soared on open, mirroring yesterday’s morning success.

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The UK index closed at 6,104 yesterday but has already jumped to 6,166 today.

This marks a leap of 62 points in just 15 minutes this morning.

7.15am: Tesco to create 16,000 new jobs

Tesco is set to create 16,000 new jobs, as the supermarket chains looks to exploit “exceptional” growth in online sales.

A full 10,000 new roles will focus on picking customer orders from shelves ahead of home deliveries.

At least 3,000 new delivery drivers will also be hired.

During the pandemic, Tesco’s online sales have jumped from 9% to 16%.

Tesco UK & Ireland’s chief executive Jason Tarry said: “These new roles will help us continue to meet online demand for the long term.”

6.07am update: China’s Xi warns “period of turbulent change” as external risks rise

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that the world’s second-biggest economy is facing a period of ‘turbulent change’ and that rising external markets risk required policymakers to increasingly rely on domestic demand to spur growth.

Xi, chairing a seminar on Monday with a group of policy advisors and state economists, discussed the country’s mid- to long-term economic trends in preparation for the drafting of the 14th Five-year plan.

The five-yearly economic blueprint is expected to be unveiled in the annual parliament meeting next year, and Xi said China must be prepared for “a period of turbulent change” as the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated protectionism, hammered the world economy and disrupted supply chains.

“In the coming period, we will face more and more headwinds in the external environment, and we must be prepared to deal with a series of new risks and challenges,” he said, according to comments released by state news agency Xinhua late Monday night.

Xi said the domestic market will “dominate the national economic cycle” in the future, but vowed to further open up China’s economy.

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