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Brexit negotiators finalize trade deals: officials

The UK is posed to finalize a deal with the EU, as the it decides to widen coronavirus lockdowns as the island faces a new strain from South Africa. Yahoo Finance’s Kumutha Ramanathan joins Julie Hyman and Brian Sozzi to break down the news from the United Kingdom.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

BRIAN SOZZI: Believe it or not, the UK and EU may have just inked a Brexit trade deal. Let's get right to Yahoo Finance's Kumutha Ramanathan for more. Kumutha.

KUMUTHA RAMANATHAN: Highly anticipated. We have been waiting for the last few hours here in the UK to get any sort of sign of some progress in these trade talks. And now reports are coming out, as you mentioned, that we're poised to get a deal and have UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce it within minutes within the next hour.

Now, the news of [INAUDIBLE] around sentiment around a Brexit deal has been positive overall. The FTSE closed higher today. FTSE midcaps are actually up about 0.9%. It was a record high for the midcaps. Rather, let me correct that. The 10-month high that the FTSE midcaps had reached, and that's as the markets were getting more and more confident about a deal.

Now, this happened overnight. Negotiations continued. Brexit and the fishing points were one of the most important sticking points that were holding back from a deal being brokered. But obviously, a deal is coming. We don't know what size the deal is going to be and how hard the UK is going to have to [? stick to ?] [? it, ?] but at least some agreements have been made.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah. And all of this is going on as still the UK is trying to get its arms around this new strain of coronavirus and the continued spread there. What's the latest on restrictions?

KUMUTHA RAMANATHAN: I think I would call it COVID fatigue. That's essentially what has settled in here in the UK. Of course, we had news of yet another strain as you mentioned, Julie, here in the UK. This time, it's been linked to Africa. And you know, the fear here is that there could be others and what that's going to do in terms of further restrictions.

Right now, Tier 4 restrictions, the highest that the UK has, is actually going to go into place after Christmas. And that means that as well as the southeast as well as the east of England is going to be very much facing higher restrictions and that is really going to impact the quality of life that people are facing here in the UK. But what is good news overall is that the health secretary is saying that they expect that the vaccine that has been rolled out and the immunization program as a whole is going to be able to combat these latest strains. But still, as I mentioned, very, very disconcerting news for the markets as a whole, but something that we have to inevitably deal with in some form.

BRIAN SOZZI: What are we going to talk to you in the morning about now that we have a trade deal? I never thought we'd actually see this thing.

KUMUTHA RAMANATHAN: Hopefully we'll be talking about something positive. I would say it would be the weather, but you know, I am in London, so that's not something that we [? should ?] talk about here.

BRIAN SOZZI: I like the positivity. Well, we'll leave it there. Kumutha Ramanathan, good to see you.