European markets seen cautiously higher as Brexit uncertainty returns

European markets were seen cautiously higher Monday morning as traders wait to discover whether the U.K.’s departure from the European Union will be delayed once again.

The FTSE 100 was seen around 12 points higher at 7,163, the DAX was expected to open around 29 points higher at 12,663 and France’s CAC 40 was set to climb around 7 points to 5,643, according to IG data.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was begrudgingly forced to request an extension to the current October 31 Brexit deadline on Saturday after a cross-party group of lawmakers passed an amendment forcing a delay to a “meaningful” vote on his newly negotiated divorce deal.

It remains to be seen whether the EU will accept the request contained in Johnson’s unsigned letter, which would push the Brexit deadline to January 31 and open the door for a new U.K. general election.

Some European leaders have voiced reluctance to give Britain more time, though an orderly exit is widely accepted as being least damaging scenario for both the U.K. and the EU.

A verdict from the EU could come as early as Monday, while Johnson will be seeking to pass his deal in British parliament early this week.

The British government insisted on Sunday that the country will leave the EU on Oct. 31 despite Johnson’s letter, though Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that the EU will delay until February 2020 if Johnson fails to pass his deal with domestic lawmakers this week.

Sterling slipped from a five-month high on Monday morning, sliding just over 0.5 percent against the dollar to trade at $1.2902 before European market open.

Asian markets traded mixed on Monday amid the protracted uncertainty, with mainland Chinese indexes leading losses and Japanese shares advancing.

Source: CNBC