Tuesday, Dec 12


British blue-chip stocks closed higher Monday, outperforming other major European benchmarks as the pound remained under pressure. The FTSE 100 index tacked on 0.8% to finish at 7,453.48, building on last week’s rise of 1.3%. London’s leading stock benchmark notched its highest close since Nov. 28, or nearly two weeks ago, according to FactSet data. It’s showing a year-to-date gain of 4.4%. The pound bought $1.3361, down from $1.3384 in New York late Friday. During that session, the U.K. currency lost the $1.35 handle. Yields fall when prices rise. The pound extended its losses made Friday. Analysts have attributed the fall in sterling to expectations that the U.K. government will make progress on its Brexit proposals ahead of the meeting of European Union leaders on Thursday and Friday. A drop in sterling typically bolsters shares of multinational companies that make most of their earnings overseas, as there is a boost when those profits are converted into sterling. Traders are looking ahead to monetary policy updates from central banks later in the week, with releases due from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank on Thursday.