British stocks rose as Britain and the European Union moved closer to striking a trade deal and avoiding a messy secession, with only seven days remaining until the end of the transition period.
The domestic market-focused FTSE 250 index jumped 0.6% to regain its peak in February, while small cap stocks rose 0.8% to a record high.
The heavy export FTSE 100 index rose 0.1%, as the pound’s jump kept gains in check.
Shares in Lloyd’s Banking Group, Barclays and Natwest, Britain’s largest bank, rose between 2% and 4.5%, hoping that the “Brexit” deal will brighten the country’s economic outlook in 2021.
Sources in London and Brussels said the two sides were close to concluding a narrow trade deal, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a late-night conference call with his top ministers.
The BBC reported that Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are expected to hold a press conference later in the day to announce the final agreement.