LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Under Pressure As European Political Uncertainty Lifts The Pound

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.K. stocks pulled back Monday, struggling as sterling climbed against the euro in the wake of Germany's general election that could result in a prolonged talks for Chancellor Angela Merkel to form a coalition.

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The FTSE 100 index fell 0.3% to 7,287.88, led by financial and telecommunications shares. But oil and gas, industrial and consumer-related shares advanced. On Friday, the London benchmark rose 0.6% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-sags-as-north-korea-us-tensions-flare-up-2017-09-22) and logged a weekly rise of 1.3%, the best week since early August, according to FactSet data.

But Monday's session began with investors watching the pound scale higher against the euro and the dollar. A strong value of the pound can eat into earnings overseas by multinational companies, and, in turn, hurt shares of those companies that combined weigh heavily on the FTSE 100.

Among such names, cruise operator Carnival PLC (CCL.LN) (CCL) fell 0.7%, engine producer Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (RR.LN) (RR.LN) shed 0.5% and building materials supplier CRH lost 0.7%.

Against the euro, sterling bought EUR1.1362, more than EUR1.1295 late Friday in New York. In dollar dealings, the pound traded at $1.3526, up from $1.3495.

The "FTSE could see more resistance into its 200-day moving average (7337p) due to the strong pound," said LCG's senior market analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya in a note.

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A "less than convincing Federal election win for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Macron struggling in senate elections," dented the euro on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-weakens-after-german-election-results-2017-09-25), said analysts at Accendo Markets.

The victory of Merkel's center-right bloc (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/germanys-anti-immigrant-party-set-to-be-first-in-more-than-50-years-to-enter-parliament-2017-09-24) over the center-left Social Democrats all but assures a fourth term for the Chancellor. But Merkel's Christian Democrats and its Bavarian sister party logged their worst result since 1949. Meanwhile, the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party won around 13% of the vote, becoming the first far-right party to win seats in Parliament in more than 50 years.

Read:How Merkel's choice of partner could set the tone for the euro (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dont-call-the-german-election-boring-it-could-mean-a-huge-shift-for-the-eurozone-2017-09-18)

Also read:Once German risk passes, China and the EU are waiting in the wings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/once-german-risk-passes-china-and-the-eu-are-waiting-in-the-wings-2017-09-22)

In France, French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party La République en Marche won fewer seats than had been anticipated in Sunday's senate election.

More political developments may emerge Monday from Brussels where the fourth round of Brexit talks between the U.K. and the EU were set to take place.

Stock movers: Unilever PLC (ULVR.LN) (ULVR.LN) turned higher by 0.2%. The consumer products heavyweight reached a deal to buy skincare business Carver Korea for 2.27 billion euros (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/unilever-agrees-to-buy-carver-korea-for-227-bln-2017-09-25) ($2.7 billion), a move Unilever said will strengthen its position in northern Asia.

Among decliners on the FTSE 100, Mediclinic International PLC (MDC.LN) fell 2.9%, Standard Life Aberdeen PLC (SLA.LN) lost 1.8% and miners were mostly lower, with copper producer Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) down 1.2%.

Advancers were led by a 1.4% rise in broadcaster ITV PLC (ITV.LN) .

On the mid-cap FTSE 250, packing company Essentra PLC (ESNT.LN) gave up 2.7% after saying Hurricane Maria has disrupted activity at two of its facilities in Puerto Rico and said profit will be hurt due to other storms.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 25, 2017 05:29 ET (09:29 GMT)