LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Wobbles As WPP Shares Tumble

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Pound slips below $1.28

U.K. stocks wavered Wednesday, as a falling pound buoyed exporters, but still struggled to offset a downbeat trend in European equities.

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The FTSE 100 was last up 1 point at 7,382.59 after having opened in the red. The consumer services sector was putting in the worst performance.

The FTSE 100 trudged slightly higher as the pound dipped below $1.2800. Sterling also fell against the euro , down about 0.4% at EUR1.0857. Pound strength tends to weigh on shares of London-listed multinational companies with earnings in other currencies.

"This weakness is mainly due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Britain's future in the EU," said FairFX analysts in a note.

At last check, the pound bought $1.2793, down from $1.2823 late Tuesday in New York.

WPP bruised: Shares of WPP PLC (WPP.LN) sank 11% after the advertising giant issued a disappointing growth outlook. The stock was on course for its largest percentage loss since October 1998, according to FactSet data.

In a trading update Wednesday, the world's largest advertising company cut its forecast for growth for 2017 (, citing major slowdowns in client spending in key industries such as consumer goods and retail.

"The advertising giant cited falling demand from its clients as a reason for the reduced revenue forecast. This is the second time the sale forecast has been trimmed this year, and that is a warning sign to traders, as it could be the start of a trend," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets.

"In 2017, the share price has created a series of lower lows and lower highs, which is a worrying sign," he said in a note.

In the media group, also exposed to trends in advertising, shares of broadcaster ITV PLC (ITV.LN) fell 1.3% and publisher Pearson PLC (PSON.LN) lost 0.9%. Informa PLC (INF.LN) , an events and publishing company, gave up 0.6%.

Miners rally: On Tuesday, advances in the mining sector helped the FTSE 100 rise 0.9% to break a three-session losing streak ( and log the biggest one-day percentage gain since July 12

Miners continued to move higher Wednesday, with BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) and Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) up 0.6% and 0.9%, respectively.

Brexit update: A slate of policy papers on Brexit was set to be published by the U.K. government on Wednesday. Reports suggested the government was backing away ( from a harder stance on the European Court of Justice's say in U.K. law.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 23, 2017 05:39 ET (09:39 GMT)