The rise and rise of the pound

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - BUSINESS - BY BEN WOODS

Ster­ling has leapt to its high­est level since the EU ref­er­en­dum re­sult af­ter a Bank of Eng­land pol­i­cy­maker hinted he may back an in­ter­est rate rise.

The pound con­tin­ued its re­mark­able rally from Thurs­day’s ses­sion, push­ing 1.4% higher to 1.358 ver­sus the US dol­lar to clock lev­els not seen since June 24 last year. Ster­ling also climbed 0.9% against the euro, to 1.135.

How­ever, the strength of the UK cur­rency heaped more mis­ery on blue-chip stocks, with the FTSE 100 In­dex fall­ing 79.92 points to 7,215.47.

Buck­ing the trend was pub group JD Wether­spoon, thanks to grow­ing full-year sales and prof­its. Shares soared more than 13%, or £1.45 to £11.89.

The big­gest fall­ers were Car­ni­val, down £3.17 to £47.83, Prov­i­dent Fi­nan­cial off 35.5p at £7.94, Fer­gu­son down £1.52 to £44.86 and Pearson off 18p at 568.5p.

Brent oil was 0.2% higher at $55.57 a bar­rel on fore­casts of in­creased de­mand and re­ports of US re­finer­ies kick­ing back into gear.

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