11:48 GMT25 January 2021
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    Despite ongoing concerns that a no-deal Brexit was the most "likely" scenario now, the most recent reports have provided a renewed sense of optimism that the agreement could finally be reached in the upcoming days.

    European stock futures soared on Thursday as Brexit negotiators were expected to secure a trade deal after years of deliberation, with just a week left before the transition period expires and the UK leaves its post-break-up arrangement with the bloc.

    As of Thursday morning, futures for Europe's top 50 stocks index made an 1.2% increase, with a similar upward trend observed in the futures tracking index for UK-listed blue chip companies. 

    The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.1% at the opening and continued an upward trend through the morning, while London's FTSE 100 climbed by more than 0.3%, according to the latest readings. 

    The pound has also made strong advances on 24 December, gaining approximately 1% against the dollar. Most recently, the spot price of sterling was approaching $1.359 and is now heading towards a 2-year high. It was also up 0.3% against the euro.

    British PM Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation on Thursday morning following a late-night conference with his Cabinet on 23 December. The prime minister is first planning to speak to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday morning to then unveil to the world whether the UK's departure from the European Union will take place under the deal. 

    Following reports on Wednesday evening that the UK has made "huge concessions" in talks with Brussel to make sure that the Brexit divorce is consistent and smooth, the European stocks gained: STOXX 600 made a 1.08% jump, while the German DAX index rose 1.26%. 

    The United Kingdom officially departed from the European Union on 31 January to enter a 11-month transition period to continue negotiating the terms of the trade deal. Talks have not been going too well, signalling the possibility that there won't be an overreaching trade agreement between the EU and UK after 31 December. However, as Johnson has repeatedly said, there is always hope.

    European Union, Brexit, Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
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