1700: Close The Footsie gave back the lion's share of the previous session's gains as a more hawkish-than-expected MPC saw 10-year Gilts slump, pushing their yield up by as much as 11 basis points to 1. 66% at one point. However, some analysts cautioned that markets might be getting a little ahead of themselves. Thus, and on the more dovish side of things, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch told clients: "So we now expect a 25bp Bank Rate hike in May and another in February 2019.
The boss of Britain’s biggest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, has urged the government to sign a two-year transition deal by April to ensure the industry can cope with the impact of Brexit. Emma Walmsley, GSK’s chief executive, said the tight deadline was key to giving businesses the clarity needed to invest. “The most important thing is that we get a transition period of at least two years, starting from March 2019, but … secured by April 2018, and we need to make sure that the negotiations that are ongoing are very clearly focused on patient safety and the continued supply of medicines to patients.