Pound drops on continued Brexit uncertainty
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 and the pound slid to a four-week low against the dollar.
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The FTSE 100 index rose 0.5% to close at 7,507.99, marking its sixth win in seven days. The benchmark on Wednesday slipped 0.01% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-stocks-waver-as-investors-nervously-wait-for-services-pmi-2017-10-04) 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.
The FTSE advance was partly thanks to a weaker pound that slipped to $1.3123 from $1.3246 late Wednesday in New York, hitting the lowest level since Sept. 8, according to FactSet data. The pound was reacting (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-higher-against-european-currencies-including-significant-move-against-pound-2017-10-05) to a disastrous speech (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-leader-theresa-mays-slogan-literally-fell-apart-during-her-disastrous-speech-2017-10-04) by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, along with continued gridlock with Brussels over negotiations for Brexit.
"As has been the case all day, there isn't any one great defining factor either driving the pound lower or the dollar higher, but rather a web of news items highlighting the impact of Brexit uncertainty for the former and suggesting a hawkish Fed for the latter (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-in-wait-and-see-mode-as-trump-mulls-fed-chair-nominee-2017-10-04)," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex in a note.
"Cable is likely to remain the dominant force on Friday, as investors gear up for a potentially crucial (and likely hurricane hit) set of nonfarm figures," he added.
The closely watched U.S. nonfarm payrolls report is due Friday at 1:30 p.m. London time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. It'll provide a snapshot of the health of the U.S. labor market, which is an important factor for the Federal Reserve in setting interest rates.
Stock movers: Miners led the London benchmark higher as most metals rose. Shares of Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) climbed 3%, Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) added 3% and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) picked up 1.8%.
Merlin Entertainments PLC (MERL.LN) advanced 3.4% after a report that the U.K. theme-park operator has approached SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS) about a possible sale (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/seaworld-surges-on-reports-of-possible-deal-with-legoland-owner-2017-10-05). U.S. listed shares of SeaWorld were down 2.6% in late-morning trade.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 05, 2017 12:06 ET (16:06 GMT)