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FTSE 100 lifted by weaker Sterling

04 Nov 2020

London’s FTSE 100 increased on Wednesday, bolstered by a weaker pound.

However, gains were limited as early results from the U.S. election showed a very close race between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Reuters reports the blue-chip FTSE 100 index increased 0.7% as the pound fell more than 1%, giving dollar earners a boost such as British American Tobacco, Experian and Rentokil Initial.

Furthermore, bank and mining stocks declined following a surge earlier in the week on forecasts that a decisive win for the Democrats would lead to more economic stimulus.

On Wednesday morning Donald Trump falsely claimed victory in the election with millions of votes still to be counted. The election won’t be decided until a handful of states complete their vote counts.

According to Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard in London: “The market was kind of fixated on this blue wave scenario and now that expectation has been disappointed, there’s no certainty and the market really doesn’t know what to push at this stage.”

In addition, following a fall of close to 0.9% in early trading, the mid-cap FTSE 250 was up 0.6% on news the UK and EU negotiators would call for further Brexit talks.

In other news, financial data company IHS Markit announced a double-dip recession was looming in Britain, as business surveys revealed economic growth almost stopped in October, before the second lockdown was announced.

In terms of individual stocks, Provident Financial rose 2.8% as the firm said performance within its home credit business had now reverted to pre-pandemic levels.

Moreover, Marks & Spencer shares rose 4.8% after the retailer revealed a smaller-than-forecast loss for the first half of the year.