Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 

MarketScreener Homepage  >  News  >  Indexes & Markets

News : Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 

FTSE dips as sterling firms on report of potential Brexit delay

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
01/11/2019 | 01:41pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the London Stock Exchange in the City of London

(Reuters) - British blue-chip shares retreated on Friday, singed by a sterling rally on a newspaper report of cabinet ministers saying that Britain would have to delay its European Union exit.

The report in the Evening Standard pushed sterling up against the dollar and euro, dragging the exporter-heavy FTSE 100 off earlier highs and down 0.4 percent. But the currency fell back after a spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Theresa May ruled out any delay.

Companies that earn mainly U.S. dollars are hit by a stronger pound and were the among the biggest drags on the index. AstraZeneca fell 3.6 percent, while HSBC and GlaxoSmithKline also fell.

But weakness in oil majors BP and Shell on lower crude prices made the sector the biggest drag on the FTSE 100.

The Evening Standard cited unnamed cabinet ministers as saying Brexit looks increasingly likely to be delayed beyond March 29 because of the backlog of legislation that needs to be passed.

Stocks had been boosted earlier by reassurance from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the pace of further increases to interest rates, with progress in U.S.-China trade talks also providing support.

Mid-caps, which make half of their income at home, rose 0.6 percent to their highest in more than a month.

David Madden, CMC Markets analyst, said any Brexit delay might provide a short-term bounce for the pound but emphasised that the outlook remains highly uncertain.

"All the various options, be it Theresa May’s plan, a second referendum, or leaving the EU without a deal – they all seem to be almost equally unpopular,” he said.

British homebuilders <.FTNMX3720> sensitive to Brexit news, extended early gains to trade up 2.1 percent as the sector index <.FTNMX3720> registered its biggest weekly gain in nearly three years, helped by Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgrading the UK housebuilding sector to neutral.

Taylor Wimpey jumped 4.8 percent to top the FTSE 100 leader board, with Persimmon and Barratt Developments up 4.4 and 2.9 percent respectively.

Adding to worries at home, however, official data showed that Britain's economic growth hit a six-month low in the three months to November as factories suffered from tough global trade conditions ahead of Brexit.

Airline Flybe plummeted 77.1 percent to a record low of 3.8 pence after a heavily discounted 1 pence-per-share buyout offer from a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart and Cyrus.

Stobart jumped 7.2 percent after the news to top the mid-cap winners.

Retailers continued to upset the markets, with AIM-listed fast-fashion retailer Quiz tanking 32.5 percent to a record low after a revenue warning following disappointing Christmas sales.

Suits specialist Moss Bros also said the period ahead would be "extremely challenging", but its shares firmed as analysts took comfort from strong e-commerce sales.

Debenhams plunged 18.8 percent in high-volume trading. Investors had forced the department store group's CEO off the board and the chairman out of the company on Thursday after another plunge in sales.

UDG Healthcare slumped 7.7 percent to be the biggest mid-cap faller after Jefferies downgraded the stock and said the healthcare services provider's preliminary expectation for the year "does not sound attractive".

(Reporting by Muvija M; Additional reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and David Goodman)

By Muvija M

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AO WORLD PLC -3.20% 335.5 Delayed Quote.280.40%
ASTRAZENECA PLC -2.06% 7880 Delayed Quote.5.90%
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION -2.75% 23.3082 Delayed Quote.-34.14%
BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS PLC -2.73% 487.5 Delayed Quote.-32.76%
BERKELEY GROUP HOLDINGS PLC -1.76% 4001 Delayed Quote.-15.95%
BP PLC -3.14% 193.44 Delayed Quote.-58.49%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.46% 1.17512 Delayed Quote.5.08%
FLYBE GROUP LIMITED 0.00%End-of-day quote.-94.33%
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC -3.79% 1324 Delayed Quote.-23.50%
HSBC HOLDINGS PLC -4.18% 319 Delayed Quote.-44.23%
JUST GROUP PLC -3.42% 42.46 Delayed Quote.-45.22%
MOSS BROS GROUP PLC 0.00%End-of-day quote.-4.00%
PERSIMMON PLC -2.73% 2314 Delayed Quote.-11.76%
QUIZ PLC -11.79% 6.63 Delayed Quote.-58.01%
STOBART GROUP LIMITED -2.97% 18 Delayed Quote.-82.67%
TAYLOR WIMPEY PLC -4.84% 105.75 Delayed Quote.-42.79%
THE GLOBAL LTD. 2.65% 232 End-of-day quote.-50.74%
UDG HEALTHCARE PLC -0.62% 727.5 Delayed Quote.-10.05%
WILL GROUP, INC. -3.35% 809 End-of-day quote.-35.38%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
Latest news "Markets"
02:19pStocks tumble as coronavirus lockdowns loom; dollar rises
12:59pWALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : S&P 500, Dow sink to late-Sept lows on virus woes
11:10aWALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : U.S. stock market 'fear gauge' VIX jumps to highest level since June
10:32aWALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : Stocks Open Sharply Lower on Rising Virus Cases
09:59aTSX falls as U.S. crude stockpile, virus cases hit energy shares
09:48aWALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE : Stocks Open Sharply Lower on Rising Virus Cases
09:41aStocks tumble as coronavirus cases surge
08:25aStock Futures Point to Selloff on Rising Virus Cases
07:36aStock Futures Point to Selloff on Rising Virus Cases
07:25aEUROPE : European stocks tumble on new lockdown fears
Latest news "Markets"