UK shares fell on Monday with the FTSE 100 dropping beneath 6,800 as investors reduced positions a head of a potentially turbulent week.
UK parliament is set to reignite the Brexit debate with vigour on Tuesday as MPs remain bitterly opposed on the best way forward.
With the 29th March leave date fast approaching, Theresa May is yet to secure a consensus from MPs on how the UK will leave the EU.
Theresa May faced a crushing defeat in early January and is working towards aligning MPs for a potential second parliamentary vote.
While the process is pushing the UK economy towards the cliff edge of a no-deal Brexit, financial markets have reacted by pushing the pound higher against the dollar.
Analyst attribute this to the increased chance of a softer form of Brexit that is likely to win parliamentary approval.
“We would read the developments over the last week as pointing toward a later, softer Brexit or potentially no Brexit at all.” said Zach Pandl of Goldman Sachs in an interview on Bloomberg television.
Highlighting the banks bullishness on sterling Pandl said Goldmans thought the pound would be the “highest-performing G-10 exchange rate this year.”
While this would be good for the UK’s importers, it has caused a negative impact on the FTSE 100.
There has been a significant inverse relationship between sterling and the FTSE 100 since the vote to leave the EU with the FTSE 100 reaching all time highs as sterling plummeted.
This relationship has been turned on its head during a Westminster impasse that has made a ‘no-deal’ or ‘hard Brexit’ the city’s outside bet.
Shares in mainland Europe were also weaker on Monday as the reopening of the US government failed to inspire a global relief rally in equities.
Looking towards the US and the interest rate decision later this week, investors will get the first major instalment of insight from the Federal Reserve on whether they still though two or three interest hikes were appropriate for the US economy in 2019.