LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Inches Higher, As Pound Dips After London Terror Attack

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

British benchmark on pace for a fresh record close

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U.K. stocks rose slightly in early action Monday, getting a lift from a dip in the pound in the wake of a violent attack in London over the weekend that was claimed by Islamic State.

The FTSE 100 gained 0.1% to 7,554.15, while sterling traded at $1.2869, down from $1.2891 late Friday in New York. The British benchmark, which has been scoring record closes in recent sessions, is on track for a fresh all-time closing high.

Last week, the gauge was flat for the week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-on-track-for-all-time-high-as-us-records-lift-trading-mood-2017-06-02).

The pound is "expected to remain volatile this week against the backdrop of the tragic weekend events in London and the flakiness of the polls in predicting what the outcome of Thursday's General Election vote is likely to be, with the poll gaps varying between 1 and 12 points in favour of the Conservatives," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, in a note.

"With fluctuations of this magnitude, Thursday's outcome is turning out to have all the predictability of a coin toss, and as such it isn't too surprising to see this being reflected in recent movements in the pound," he added.

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The FTSE 100 tends to benefit from a falling pound, as the weaker currency boosts the foreign-denominated profits made by the index's multinational companies.

The attack at London Bridge killed seven people and left dozens injured. Police have arrested 12 people in raids (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/police-arrest-12-in-london-raids-after-terror-attack-2017-06-04) prompted by the attack, which interrupted the campaigning for Thursday's election and shook confidence in the country's counterterrorism strategy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/enough-is-enough-says-may-as-islamic-state-claims-credit-for-london-attack-2017-06-04).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 05, 2017 03:47 ET (07:47 GMT)