LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Ends Lower While Political Turmoil Whacks The Pound

By Carla Mozee and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Blue-chip benchmark falls for third session in a row

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U.K. blue chips stocks finished slightly lower Monday, though their drop was limited by the pound's fall, which came after reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing pressure to resign.

What markets are doing: The FTSE 100 index fell 0.2% to end at 7,415.18, extending Friday's fall of 0.7% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retailers-help-drive-ftse-100-toward-biggest-weekly-fall-in-2-months-2017-11-10). The benchmark, which has fallen for three straight sessions, closed at its lowest level since Sept. 29.

The pound traded at $1.3104, down from $1.3191 late Friday in New York. Against the euro, sterling bought EUR1.1238, falling from EUR1.1309 late Friday.

What's moving markets: The pound was knocked back after The Sunday Times reported (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjJwKegh7vXAhVD2KQKHX25AqkQqUMILDAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thetimes.co.uk%2Farticle%2Ftory-turmoil-as-40-mps-say-may-must-go-kkg3w6l89&usg=AOvVaw0P3ydYgZ0X_1ThNri40pNZ) that 40 lawmakers in the British parliament had agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May. Just eight more MPs are required to start a formal leadership challenge, according to the report.

But the pound's decline bolstered shares of multinational companies that make most of their earnings overseas. A weak pound can boost profits once they are converted from other currencies into sterling.

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Check out:Is British leader Theresa May on her way out? Why that's the fear--and why it matters (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-british-leader-theresa-may-on-her-way-out-why-thats-the-fear-and-why-it-matters-2017-11-09)

What strategists are saying: "The remainder of Europe is firmly in the red, but the weakness in sterling has cushioned the fall in the British index," said David Madden, a CMC Markets UK analyst, in a note.

Opinion:Brexit hard-liners are selling England by the pound (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brexit-hardliners-are-selling-england-by-the-pound-2017-11-09)

Stock movers: Among multinationals, shares of drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN) (AZN.LN) climbed 1.2% and consumer products heavyweight Unilever PLC (ULVR.LN) rose 0.8%.

Iron-ore miner Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) closed up 0.1%.

Oil producer Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) (RDSB.LN) tacked on 0.8%. Shell said it would raise 2.2 billion Australian dollars ($1.7 billion) from the sale of 71.6 million shares (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shell-raises-a22-bln-from-woodside-shares-sale-2017-11-13) in Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL.AU).

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola HBC shares fell 4.5%. The bottler's rating was cut to neutral from overweight at J.P. Morgan Cazenove, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Taylor Wimpey PLC (TW.LN) edged down less than 0.1%, giving up gains, after the house builder said it's on track to meet yearly expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/taylor-wimpey-on-track-to-meet-yearly-expectations-2017-11-13).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 12:54 ET (17:54 GMT)