U.K. blue-chip stocks rose Monday, riding up alongside U.S. stocks as investors prepared for the possibility a corporate tax cut will be passed by U.S. lawmakers this week. But the benchmark FTSE 100 underperformed the rest of Europe as the pound gained against the dollar. The FTSE 100 index ended up 0.6% at 7,537.01, rising for a second straight day and scoring its highest close since early November. On Friday, the London benchmark rose 0.6% and last week logged a rise of 1.3%. The pound bought $1.3397, up from $1.3322 late Friday in New York. Against the euro, sterling changed hands at €1.1351 versus €1.1340 on Friday. Pound strength can hurt the FTSE 100 as about 75% of revenues for the index’s components is made overseas. The moves came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchinon Sunday said he has “no doubt” the Republican-backed tax bill will be passed by lawmakers and make it to President Donald Trump’s desk this week to be signed into law. The renewed optimism comes after two holdouts, Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Marco Rubio of Florida, pledged their support for the tax proposals.
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