Stocks are rising as Brexit progress and a $6.9 billion tech takeover lift the market mood

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Getty/Scott Olson

World stock markets rose on Tuesday after British Prime Minister Theresa May secured an improved offer from the European Union, which might be enough to win the support of lawmakers in the critical Parliamentary vote tonight.

Under the new deal, the UK will have some authority to walk away if the EU doesn’t do enough to replace the ‘Irish backstop,’ a temporary arrangement designed to prevent a hard Irish border, with a full trade deal in the future.

Sterling climbed 1% to 1.32 against the US dollar on the news. The limited gains “really betray the doubts that remain,” said Neil Wilson, the chief market analyst for Markets.com. “If Theresa May gets her deal through we could likely expect a relief rally for equities more broadly.”

“The pound currently trades in neutral ground ahead of the key vote tonight suggesting that the outcome is anyone’s bet,” said Simon Harvey, market analyst at Monex Europe.

Here’s the roundup as of 9.05 a.m. (5.05 a.m. ET)

  • Asian stocks rallied on improved sentiment. Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.5%, and the Shanghai Composite Index showed a 1.1% gain.
  • US futures were marginally up following a fresh “buy” recommendation from Bank of America on Apple’s stock, and Nvidia’s $6.9 billion offer for fellow chipmaker Mellanox.
  • Shares in Boeing, which slumped 5% yesterday after regulators in China, Indonesia and Ethiopia grounded its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft after two deadly crashes in five months, could fall further as other airlines and aviation officials have followed suit.
  • European markets were little moved with less than 0.3% movement across the FTSE 100, DAX and Euro Stoxx 50.