MAR­KET RE­PORT

Western Mail - - BUSINESS -

THE FTSE 100 closed at a record high yes­ter­day due in part to the drop in ster­ling sparked by con­cerns over a dead­lock in Brexit talks.

Lon­don’s blue chip in­dex rose 0.3% or 22.43 points to end the day at an all-time clos­ing high of 7,556.24.

David Mad­den, a mar­ket an­a­lyst at CMC Mar­kets UK, said that the FTSE 100’s rise was pri­mar­ily due to the pound’s de­clines, as multi­na­tional stocks on the in­dex tend to ben­e­fit when for­eign cur­ren­cies are stronger than the pound.

“The bullish move was achieved for the wrong rea­sons, as the dip in the pound on the back of the stalled Brexit talks helped the Bri­tish in­dex,” he said.

Ster­ling was trad­ing down nearly 0.4% at 1.316 against the US dol­lar by the time the UK stock mar­ket closed, and 0.2% ver­sus the euro at 1.112.

In­vestors were spooked after the EU’s chief ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier said no “great steps for­ward” had been made dur­ing the fifth round of Brexit talks, and that there re­mained a “dis­turb­ing” dead­lock over how much the UK should pay to set­tle com­mit­ments en­tered into as an EU mem­ber.

The FTSE 100 eas­ily out­per­formed its Euro­pean peers, with the French Cac 40 end­ing the day down 0.03% and the Ger­man Dax clos­ing higher by 0.09%.

In UK stocks, HSBC shares fell 11.4p to 747p. The bank con­firmed it had ap­pointed John Flint – who cur­rently heads its re­tail bank­ing and wealth man­age­ment division – as its new chief ex­ec­u­tive.

He will take up the role on Fe­bru­ary 21, re­plac­ing long­stand­ing boss Stu­art Gul­liver.

Sky rose 13p to 926.5p after the com­pany said in a trad­ing update that the pop­u­lar­ity of Game Of Thrones helped gen­er­ate a 5% rise in rev­enues to £3.3bn for the first quar­ter amid a surge in new cus­tomers.

Car­il­lion ended the day up 0.25p at 43.75p after the trou­bled in­fra­struc­ture giant con­firmed it had re­ceived mul­ti­ple takeover bids for its UK health­care busi­ness.

Just Eat surged 46p to 749p on news that its takeover of ri­val Hun­gry­house has been pro­vi­sion­ally cleared by the UK’s com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog.

The big­gest ris­ers on the FTSE 100 were St James’s Place up 46p at 1,176p, Har­g­reaves Lans­down up 40p at 1,536p, Burberry Group up 49p at 1,896p, and easy­Jet up 32p at 1,321p.

The big­gest fall­ers on the FTSE 100 were HSBC down 11.4p at 747p, Smiths Group down 20p at 1,590p, Next down 61p at 4,989p, and Stan­dard Char­tered down 6.5p at 758.5p.

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