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There have been plenty of theories aired about MiFID II over the last few years, ranging from “Business Largely as Usual” to “Armageddon (MiFID) II”. It’s still not entirely clear where we will land, but the extremes, at least, look like they’ve been discounted.
Theresa May ran into fresh trouble in Brussels on Thursday, with her efforts to persuade her European Union counterparts to sweeten the Brexit deal effectively running aground. Some EU leaders said Mrs. May had failed to set out clearly what assurances she wanted. Others said she was effectively asking for them to re-open the Brexit agreement, something they have repeatedly ruled out doing. In the end, the other leaders offered some encouraging words but appeared to rule out offering any kind of legal assurances to the U.K. to mitigate the parts of the deal most unpopular with British lawmakers. China's business activity mostly slowed in November, as industrial production and retail sales showed renewed weakness, while investment improved slightly. Value-added industrial output in China rose 5.4% in November from a year earlier, slowing from a 5.9% on-year increase in October. November's figure missed economists' median forecast for 5.9% growth.
US stocks advanced on Wednesday, though well below their session highs, after a series of developments boosted hopes about US-China trade relations and the British prime minister defeated a challenge to her leadership. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.6%, while the S&P 500 index advanced 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1%. US President Donald Trump, said trade talks were under way with China. He also said that he would intervene in a case against a top executive at Huawei Technologies if it would help secure a trade deal. In Asia, shares mostly gained on Thursday in morning session, building on the momentum seen on Wall Street overnight. Watch For: ECB interest rate announcement, Draghi speech; RICS housing market data.