Sterling rose 1.5% on the dollar to $1.28, and by a similar amount against the euro to 86.3 pence.
On the FTSE 100, shares with a big exposure to the health of the UK economy rose sharply. Builders Barratt Developments and British Land were up about 6%, and Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland rose more than 5%. Next, ITV and Ocado were also big risers.
“A deal between the UK and EU was 60% in the price [of sterling] and now we stand to see if the remaining 40% come into play,” said Stephen Gallo, European head of foreign exchange at BMO.
Morten Lund, a senior forex strategist at Nordea, added: “The reaction from the markets shows they want to get this deal over and they are ready to push the button at the slightest sign of a deal.”
But he said he was “a bit more sceptical about the outcome” given how little time remained to negotiate and the difficulties of getting a deal through the British Parliament. The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.
Shares and the pound jumped last week on growing optimism of a deal, only to slip amid signals from Brussels that the negotiations still had a long way to go.
Electrical cars EV ‘Right direction’
But on Tuesday, Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier sparked another rise on the markets when he said it was “high time to turn good intentions [into] a legal text”.
Irish PM Leo Varadkar said talks were “moving in the right direction”. Boris Johnson has spoken to France’s Emmanuel Macron and the BBC understands the two men agreed there was “positive momentum”, although “many hurdles” must still be overcome.
The FTSE 250 of UK mid-cap stocks rose and European equity benchmarks extended their gains on the news.
“The more uncertainty you remove, the better for investors. If the [UK] prime minister and the EU were now to agree a deal, then the market would take that positively,” said Edmund Shing, global head of equity derivatives strategy at BNP Paribas.
Tackling the growing abuse and intimidation of MPs does not appear to be a “high priority” for party leaders, the UK’s standards watchdog has said.
Lord Evans, chairman of the committee on standards in public life, said leaders must set a better example to their supporters on social media.
Kim Leadbeater, the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, said she was very concerned about politicians’ physical safety.
Both were giving evidence to the Home Affairs committee.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for all sides to “calm down” after a row over the use of inflammatory language in the Commons, in which he was accused of using “dangerous” words.
But the PM insisted he had been a “model of restraint” and the government plans to create a new criminal offence of intimidating candidates and campaigners in the run up to an election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has singled Mr Johnson’s language out for criticism, while arguing that all MPs need to do more to moderate their behaviour.
However, neither he nor Mr Johnson have signed up to a draft code of conduct drawn up by the standards committee aimed at improving the “intimidatory, bullying and abusive culture” in public life.
Electrical cars EV ‘Nostalgic’
Speaking to the committee, Lord Evans said parties had not been “beating a path to our door [which] would suggest this is not top of people’s priorities at the moment, which worries me”.
He warned against being too “nostalgic” about the standard of political debate in the UK, which he said had always featured personal attacks.
But Lord Evans said the “abuse and intimidation” had got out of hand in the past five years – driven, in part, by social media, and it was threatening democracy by deterring people from standing for election.
His own committee had heard some MPs had even been scared into changing their votes on Brexit – something that would have concerned him in his previous role as the head of MI5.
“We would have seen that as a really serious national security issue, if it had been another state doing it,” he said.
Lord Evans argued social media companies had to do more to stamp out abuse, but the tone set by political leaders was “critical” as it gave “permission” to their supporters to behave in certain ways.
“It’s not evident that ensuring the tone of debate is appropriate is a high priority at the moment for a number of people in leadership roles,” he added.
Electrical cars EV ‘Safety concerns’
The standards committee has joined forces with the Jo Cox Foundation – set up after Ms Cox was was shot and stabbed in June 2016 while on her way to meet constituents.
The foundation is holding meetings with senior party representatives to persuade them to sign up to the draft code, but so far, only SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has signed.
Catherine Anderson, chief executive of the foundation, said: “We are particularly worried for people’s safety, that’s the immediate concern.
“With a potentially very imminent general election, we are very concerned about increased incidences of direct physical attacks.
“We know in the MEP and the local elections earlier this year we saw an increase in actual physical attacks, often against women candidates.
“We are also very worried about the importance of language, and the offline consequences of the language we are seeing online.”
Electrical cars EV ‘Toxic cocktail’
Ms Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, also gave evidence to the committee.
With her voice cracking with emotion, she said: “It’s very difficult for me to be objective in terms of how great a threat there is to anybody else.
“But one of the things that drives me and that drives my parents, and many of my friends and family to keep going, is that we don’t want any other family to experience what we have had to experience and, indeed, continue to experience every single day.”
She said a “huge societal change” was needed to stem the rise in anger and hate – including addressing the “frustration” felt by marginalised communities – and it was too easy to blame all problems on the divisions caused by Brexit.
“Brexit didn’t create those problems but it certainly hasn’t helped,” she added.
“It’s exacerbated some of the issues we are facing in our communities up and down the country.
“And you put in the mix of that the anonymity of social media… and I think you have got a toxic cocktail.”
Police, schools and public figures all had a role to play in restoring civility, she argued, but politicians also had a “responsibility” to improve their behaviour.
“That’s why I find it very upsetting when we see some of the scenes we have seen recently in Parliament of bad behaviour across the political spectrum,” she added.
From sombre money box lectures to cheesy boy band spoofs, the party election broadcast has become a stalwart of our TV listings.
It was on this day – 15 October – in 1951 that former Liberal leader Lord Herbert Samuel took to our screens for the first ever televised version and changed political campaigning forever.
His appearance was a 15-minute slot, sat at a desk and staring down the camera lens, and reports at the time called it a fiasco as he read from a prepared radio script.
But despite that stilted start, within a decade, prime-time broadcasts had become an essential part of electioneering.
Technology – and the imaginations of communications directors – has, of course, moved on, and the rather formal broadcasts of old have morphed into more elaborate, faster-paced affairs.
But what is their impact? And will that continue in the future?
Electrical cars EV The history
The first party election broadcasts took place on BBC Radio during the 1924 election, with leader of the Liberal Party Herbert Asquith, Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin and Labour leader Ramsey MacDonald, each giving a 20-minute speech to the public.
It was another 23 years before they began to be regulated by the Committee on Party Political Broadcasts, deciding how long each party would get on the airwaves.
But come the launch of BBC Television, the slots made their way to screen.
And in 1955, with the emergence of commercial television, the broadcasts spread to more channels, and by 1959 they were part and parcel of an election campaign.
Lord Peter Mandelson – a key player in Tony Blair’s Labour government – said the broadcasts went through a “transformative” process in the 1980s, when his party’s then-leader, Neil Kinnock, brought in a famous face to make one.
Chariots of Fire director Hugh Hudson made what is known as “Kinnock: The Movie” – a move Lord Mandelson said was “trailblazing”.
But the Labour Party was not alone as political outfits from across the spectrum ramped up their game.
Kevin Pringle, the director of communications for the SNP until after the 2015 general election, said his party made big changes in the same decade, creating a soap opera series for one campaign and even a quiz show format for another.
“Perhaps when you look at them now, they are not so impressive,” he admitted. “But back then, they were considered cutting edge.”
The new formats – and use of celebrities – have continued since, as parties still compete over their showing on the main channels.
It is still down to those channels – which now form the Broadcasters Liaison Group – to decide what length of airtime they want to give each.
But Ofcom sets the rules for the broadcasts, which include the fact a party must be contesting at least a sixth of the seats in the election to qualify for a slot. They must also have a running time of either two minutes 40 seconds, three minutes 40 seconds, or four minutes 40 seconds.
Electrical cars EV Do they have an impact?
The short political slots on television may have more to compete with now, and viewing figures for all strands of television have taken a hit.
But research from Neuro-Insight said these particular broadcasts still had an “considerable influence” over viewers’ perceptions of political brands.
And Mr Pringle said having those few minutes on prime time TV can make a big difference to a party’s reach.
“TV is such an important medium – and the biggest – and if you are not on it, you are not at the races,” he said.
The former communications director said the broadcasts had their challenges, as they needed to be good television viewing, as well as holding a strong political message.
But they provide a “guaranteed mass audience… which every party wants”, he added.
Alastair Campbell, the director of Mr Blair’s campaigns – who worked with him in No 10 – said the broadcasts were also good for the party machines.
“It can boost the moral of the campaign when done well,” he said. “And if they are done properly, they can get extra coverage in the media for the party.”
For Sir Bernard Ingham – Margaret Thatcher’s longest serving press secretary – broadcasts are a good platform to set out policies, but you need the plans to back them up.
“It’s an opportunity that no party would turn down,” he said. “But I think [their success] depend on the content of those policies.”
Baroness Olly Grender, who was the deputy director of communications for the government during the coalition – working for Lib Dem leader and deputy PM Nick Clegg – also said the broadcasts had a “real value” for voters.
“The alternative is to have attack adverts like the do in the US, which is not a route we want to go down,” she said.
“Having been in the US during an election, [UK] broadcasts add to political knowledge, which those adverts don’t.”
Electrical cars EV What about the future?
Westminster is in agreement that an election is looming – perhaps even by the end of the year – so expect more broadcasts to hit your screens in the coming months.
These traditional post-teatime news slots make up for the ban the parties face on buying other TV and radio advertising.
However, as the Electoral Commission has pointed out, “electoral law was written long before campaigning went digital”, so rather than one channel with one guaranteed audience, you are looking at internet advertising with spending on the rise across multiple platforms – especially social media.
Mr Campbell said TV broadcasts were still important, “even if they are less so now”.
“If the broadcasting rules allow for parties to get a few minutes of prime time… you would be foolish not to take them, as there are potentially millions of people watching,” he said.
And when it comes to social media, he believes the broadcasts are “part of the same thing”.
“Look at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. They are relentlessly pumping out something on social media, but these [broadcasts] give you four or five minutes more and form part of the strategy.”
Sir Bernard believes the scope of influence for the TV broadcasts has diminished as a result.
“I am sure some people suffered if they went wrong, but there are so many voices now that people are switching off,” he said. “I don’t watch much television myself.
“They are a means, but only one, and God knows, there are so many now.”
Mr Pringle agreed there were other outlets to spread policies, but that did not take away from the party election broadcast.
“Of course there are many other things now, like social media, but many parties use those tools to spread their political election broadcast further,” he said.
“I think the political election broadcast will be here for many years to come.”
Ireland warmed up for the start of the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier by beating the Netherlands by 30 runs.
The Irish were in trouble at 55-4 but Gary Wilson’s knock of 44 off 32 balls helped them to 156-8 off 20 overs.
The Dutch started well in reply, hitting 37 from the first 29 balls, but a collapse saw three wickets fall for six runs and they were all out for 126.
Essex’s Ryan ten Doeschate scored 46, with Mark Adair and Craig Young taking three wickets apiece.
Having lost the toss, Ireland lost opener Paul Stirling for five and three further wickets fell in the next six overs.
Captain Wilson led his side’s revival, hitting five fours and a six in his innings, ably supported by Harry Tector (21 from 20 balls) and Mark Adair (24 from 13 balls), who hit two sixes.
After a top-order batting collapse, the Netherlands found themselves 43-4 in response and a required run-rate heading towards 10 runs an over.
The damage was mainly done by paceman Young who claimed two wickets in the space of three balls, and went on to finish with 3-21 from his four overs.
As the required rate grew, further wickets tumbled – Adair putting the icing on the Irish cake by claiming three wickets in the last five balls of the innings to finish with 3-28, and the Netherlands were bowled out for 126.
After facing Scotland in another warm-up game on Tuesday, Ireland will take part in the T20 World Cup Qualifier from 18-26 October in Abu Dhabi.
Ireland will face Hong Kong, UAE, Oman, Canada, Jersey and Nigeria in a bid to make the tournament proper in Australia in late 2020.