Stock markets in the United Kingdom had one of their best days in months on Monday, following the finalization of an exit agreement between the UK and the European Union. The deal was announced shortly before Christmas and will give UK companies access to the EU market with relatively few restrictions in most sectors. It follows months and even years of wrangling over a final agreement, with key sticking areas including freedom of movement, fishing rights, and agricultural standards.
Monday was the first day of trading since that agreement was announced, with the FTSE 100 moving up 1.6% to 6,603 points. Big movers included Unilever and Diageo, as well as drugmakers AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. However, shares in a number of banks fell over worries that the agreement does not provide sufficient access for financial services firms.