Pound firms after EU grants Brexit extension

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The pound firmed versus the dollar after the European Union granted an extension to Brexit until the end of January while but London stocks were broadly flat.

Around 1330 GMT, sterling had edged higher at $1.2844 compared with late deals in New York on Friday.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 stocks index was up less than 0.1 percent but Frankfurt and Paris posted solid gains.

European Union states on Monday agreed to postpone Brexit for up to three months, stepping in with a decision less than 90 hours before Britain was due to crash out with no divorce deal.

The next deadline is now January 31 — although the EU would allow an earlier date should London ratify a withdrawal agreement sooner.