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The sub-indexes had gained sharply on Monday after drugmaker Moderna's positive COVID-19 vaccine update
The sub-indexes had gained sharply on Monday after drugmaker Moderna's positive COVID-19 vaccine update

FTSE 100 falls as stronger pound, Brexit uncertainty weigh

  • The blue-chip index fell 0.4%, with energy bank and travel and leisure stocks leading the declines
  • UK markets have sharply rebounded this month from a 5% fall in October, aided by slew of local stimulus measures

London's FTSE 100 retreated from more than a five-month high on Tuesday as a stronger pound pressured exporters and investors remained cautious about a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

The blue-chip index fell 0.4%, with energy bank and travel and leisure stocks leading the declines. The sub-indexes had gained sharply on Monday after drugmaker Moderna's positive COVID-19 vaccine update.

The pound also edged higher, weighing on dollar earners such as consumer staple stocks.

The domestically-focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index fell 0.1%, with shares in Upper Crust owner SSP Group tumbling 6.5% to the bottom of the index after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to "equal-weight."

UK markets have sharply rebounded this month from a 5% fall in October, aided by slew of local stimulus measures and hopes of sooner-than expected economic recovery.

"At one point, this is priced in and the market will want to see evidence that the economy is consequently rebounding. First, by seeing fewer and less onerous lockdowns and second, as we move in the end of the W part recovery likely in December and January for Europe," Sebastien Galy, macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management, wrote in a note.

Meanwhile, a medical adviser said COVID-19 restriction tiers in England may need strengthening to control the spread of cases when the full lockdown ends.

On Brexit, a media report said Britain's chief negotiator David Frost has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson to expect a Brussels trade deal "early next week".

Asset manager Intermediate Capital Group surged 6.5% after posting a higher first-half profit, while Imperial Brands Plc rose 2.3% after forecasting better profits for 2021.

Home repair services provider HomeServe Plc added 1.1% after it posted a stronger first-half profit and raised its dividend.

EasyJet Plc slid 3% after the low-cost airline plunged to an annual loss of 1.27 billion pounds ($1.68 billion).

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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