U.K. stocks rose to a record close Thursday, helped by a drop in the pound that came on news of a stalemate in Brexit talks. The FTSE 100 advanced by 0.3% to end at 7,556.24, achieving an all-time closing high, according to FactSet data. It last finished at a record more than four months ago. The gauge remained below a June intra day peak around 7,599. The London benchmark has recently been boosted by a slide in the pound and by renewed confidence that Prime Minister Theresa May can hold on to cabinet support for her plans to take the U.K. out of the European Union. Thursday’s jump came as the pound fell to $1.3172, down from $1.3223 late Wednesday in New York, as traders fretted about a lack of progress in divorce talks with the EU. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said Thursday that not enough progress had been made to recommend talks move on to the future trade relationship between the EU and U.K.
A weaker pound can boost the FTSE 100,as many of the index’s multi national companies make most of their sales in foreign currencies. Sky PLC’s stock was among the notable gainers,rising 1.4%. On Thursday ,Europe’s biggest pay-TV company posted an 11% gain in a key profit metric for the first quarter of fiscal 2018.
Sky said new subscriptions were up 51% on the year and it is on track to meet its full-year targets.
Standard Chartered PLC’s was among the biggest decliners,falling 0.9%.In a rare move, the International Monetary Fund,in its twice-yearly Global Financial Stability Report,said theAsia-focusedbankhasa“weakearnings”outlook.Credit
Suisse analysts also have warned the lender’s current valuation is too generous. The FTSE 100 is up 0.4% for the week and showing an October gain of 2.5%.It closed down less than 0.1% on Wednesday.
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