London pre-open: Stocks seen up as MPs vote to extend Article 50

15 March 2019

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set for gains at the open on Friday after MPs voted to seek an extension to Article 50.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 14 points higher at 7,199.

On Thursday, ministers voted by 413 to 202 in favour of delaying Brexit. Any delay to the Brexit process will now need to be agreed by the other 27 EU members, with talks about possible conditions for an extension to be held before next week's EU summit.

<em>London Capital Group</em> analyst Jasper Lawler said: "Theresa May will bring her Brexit deal back to Parliament for a third time. Another defeat and she will request a long extension, around two years. Should she win, then just a short technical extension.

"Her strategy here being that the fear of a long extension potentially resulting in Brexit not happening should bring Eurosceptics to rally behind her deal. A case of this deal or no Brexit. The pound slipped 0.3% following the vote and has remained steady since."

In corporate news, housebuilder <strong>Berkeley</strong> said the trading environment over the four months to end-February had remained "consistent with that experienced over the last two years".

The FTSE 100 group said that it expected to have around &#0194;&#163;860m of net cash at its April year as it currently "assessing a number of opportunities".

<strong>Restaurant Group</strong> posted a drop in full-year profit as it took a hit from writedowns and expenses related to its acquisition of Wagamama.

In the year 30 December 2018, statutory pre-tax profit fell to &#0194;&#163;13.9m from &#0194;&#163;28.2m the year before, while total sales edged up 1% to &#0194;&#163;686m and like-for-like sales declined 2%.

<strong>QinetiQ</strong> said its North America business has won the competition for the US Army's Common Robotic System-Individual programme.

The seven-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, valued up to $164m is for the delivery of small ground robots.