Shares fall on doubts May can survive probable loss of Brexit vote on Tuesday

European shares played catch-up with the US by falling for a second day, suggesting the global rout for stock markets is far from over.

In the UK, the Ftse-100 ended 1.4% lower on Brexit fears over the UK economy and on whether Prime Minister Theresa May will survive if as seems likely she loses her Brexit withdrawal bill when the Commons votes on it on Tuesday.

In Ireland, the Iseq Overall Index fell by 0.6%, weighed for a second day by falls for global growth stocks CRH and Smurfit Kappa, while continental European leading stock indices, such as Germany's Dax and the Cac in Paris, also fell by 1.2% and 1.4% on renewed global trade fears.

US stock markets, which were closed to mark the funeral of President HW Bush, had slumped in the previous session, with the S&P's drop of 3% being among the worst daily performances since the global financial crisis.

"The closure of US markets [Wednesday] has left Europe bereft of any real direction, although the bearish tone persists across the UK and Europe," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online broker IG.

"In the UK, the focus remains on Brexit, and at this point, it is debatable whether the prime minister will even be in post come next week, if, as expected, her deal fails to pass parliament," he said.

Mr Beauchamp added: "With some hoping that parliament will choose to try for a revocation of Article 50 and suspend the entire process. However, it may not be that simple, as it will likely need to go back to national parliaments. Everything with Brexit is complicated, so trying to turn the clock back to 23 June 2016 is not going to be simple."

Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes stock markets may have "last one hurrah". It said: "Showing its age, the long bull market cycle of excess stock and bond returns is expected to finally wind down next year, but not before one last hurrah."


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