U.K. stocks closed with a modest gain Wednesday, as Marks and Spencer Group PLC shares rose after the big retail chain’s results and as miners gained despite a downbeat reading on Chinese trade. What markets are doing: The FTSE 100 index fell 0.2% to finish at 7,529.72, erasing part of Tuesday’s 0.7% drop and edging back toward Monday’s record close at 7,562.28. Meanwhile, the pound fell below $1.31 during the session on speculation that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May maylose a member of her cabinet, which would be the second cabinet loss within a week. PritiPatel, who serves at the U.K.’s international development secretary, was expected Wednesday to be dismissed by May because of undisclosed meetings she held with Israeli officials, according to local media reports. Sterling was recently at $1.3110, down from $1.3168 late Tuesday. On Thursday, Brexit negotiation talks were slated to resume. Retail stocks were notable movers, with Marks and Spencer finishing higher after a choppy session.
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