LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Regain Luster As Miners Climb

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatchFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Pound drops to 3-week low against dollar

U.K. stocks marched higher on Thursday, a day after narrowly breaking a five-session winning run, as miners advanced on the back of a rally for major metals.

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The FTSE 100 index rose 0.4% to 7,496.92, setting it on track for its sixth win in seven days. The benchmark on Wednesday slipped 0.01% ( after a mixed reading on the country's services sector capped off a disappointing round of figures for purchasing managers indexes.

There were no major events or results on deck from the U.K. on Thursday.

"U.K. stocks have held their ground despite a rather shambolic party conference speech from Prime Minister Theresa May," said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, in a note.

"We think the spurts of coughing, a collapsing sign and prankster are emblematic of her future. The odds she can hold on until the end of Brexit talks and provide enough stability for markets have been cut by that performance," he added.

The pound fell to a four-week low of around $1.3136 on Thursday. Sterling fetched $1.3246 late Wednesday in New York. The pound was reacting ( to a disastrous speech ( by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, along with continued gridlock with Brussels over negotiations for Brexit.

Stock movers: Miners led the London benchmark higher as metals rose across the board. Shares of Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) climbed 2.7%, Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) added 2.8% and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) picked up 1.8%.

Merlin Entertainments PLC (MERL.LN) advanced 3.3% after a report that the U.K. theme-park operator has approached SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS) about a possible sale ( U.S. listed shares of SeaWorld were down 2.5% in late-morning trade.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 05, 2017 10:28 ET (14:28 GMT)