U.K. stocks closed higher for the second session in a row Monday, helped by a drop for the pound and a rally for miners. The FTSE 100 index inched 0.1% higher to end at 7,671.53, building on Friday’s 0.7% gain and paring its year-to-date fall to 0.2%. The pound dropped to $1.4032, down from $1.4160 late Friday in New York. Sterling last week jumped above $1.43 for the first time since the U.K.’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union. It was aided by hopes Brussels and London will agree on a Brexit deal, as well as by a sharp selloff in the dollar. The pound pullback helped the FTSE advance on Monday, as it can boost the revenue of the London benchmark’s many internationally exposed companies. About 75% of the FTSE’s revenue is generated overseas. Miners were also driving the market higher, with shares of Anglo American among the notable advancers. The company said it has sold the New Largo thermal-coal project and Old New Largo closed colliery in South Africa for 850 million rand ($71.5 million) in cash.
The mining sector also got a lift from a rally in copper prices HGH8, -0.88% on Monday, though the red metal was giving up its gain by day’s end.
Shares of Anglo American gained 1.2% after the project sale, while Glencore added 3.3% and Rio Tinto put on 2.1%. Shares of AstraZeneca fell 0.2%, retreating after a 1% gain on Friday that came after the drugmaker released positive results for a key therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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