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March 29, 2018, 12:28 p.m. EDT

FTSE 100 lands daily win, but marks worst quarter in years

Barclays to pay $2 billion U.S. settlement claim; pound logs first-quarter gains vs. dollar and the euro

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By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

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The pound has stepped higher on expectations the Bank of England will raise interest rates again this year, possibly in May. It’s also benefited from quarterly losses for the dollar /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY +1.22% .

Sterling is still below the $1.50-area it traded at just before Britain voted to leave the European Union in a June 2016 referendum. Thursday marked one year to go before Brexit, although Britain and the EU last week agreed to a two-year transition deal.

Data docket

The U.K.’s gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2017 was unchanged by the Office for National Statistics. Quarter-over-quarter GDP growth was confirmed at 0.4%, meeting expectations, and year-over-year growth remained at 1.4%.

Read: U.K. economy lags with a year to go to Brexit

New borrowing by U.K. households rose in February to its highest level since September as Britons borrowed an additional £5.4 billion ($7.6 billion) during the month, driven by new mortgage borrowing, according to Bank of England data.

Stock movers

GKN PLC shares  rallied 9.5% to £4.63 each after more than 50% of the engineering group’s shareholders accepted an £8.1 billion buyout offer from turnaround specialist Melrose Industries PLC /zigman2/quotes/210306391/delayed UK:MRO +0.80%  . The deal comes after three months of arguing between the companies and intervention by the British Government.

Compass Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/200043088/delayed UK:CPG +2.15%  shares fell 2% after French food services rival Sodexo /zigman2/quotes/206443022/delayed FR:SW +0.41%  cut its fiscal 2018 financial outlook after a disappointing quarter. Sodexo shares sank 15.7% in Paris trade.

Barclays PLC /zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed UK:BARC +0.13%  closed up 0.2% after the U.S. Justice Department said the London-based lender agreed to pay $2 billion in civil penalties to resolve fraud claims stemming from the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities, or RMBS, between 2005 and 2007.

Off the main benchmark, NEX Group PLC shares added 0.9% after the London-based financial-technology company agreed to a takeover by CME Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210449693/composite CME +0.32%  in a deal worth $5.4 billion. NEX shares jumped 9.8% on Wednesday on news of a pending deal.

Apparel and accessories retailer Ted Baker PLC  fell 4.4% on the FTSE 250 after a ratings downgrade to hold from buy at Jefferies.

“[G]iven the near-term unseasonal weather in the U.S. [and] Europe and management’s cautious guidance, we believe the historical sales momentum underpinning the equity story will prove more elusive in the near term,” said analyst Niraj Amin in a note.

/zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed
US : U.S.: ICE Futures U.S.
102.99
+1.24 +1.22%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 3, 2023 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210306391/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
151.90 p
+1.20 +0.80%
Volume: 5.50M
Feb. 3, 2023 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.20%
Market Cap
£6.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
£173,226
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200043088/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,926.00 p
+40.50 +2.15%
Volume: 1.77M
Feb. 3, 2023 4:35p
P/E Ratio
30.79
Dividend Yield
1.64%
Market Cap
£33.70 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206443022/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
88.60
+0.36 +0.41%
Volume: 182,481
Feb. 3, 2023 5:35p
P/E Ratio
18.88
Dividend Yield
2.71%
Market Cap
€12.96 billion
Rev. per Employee
€50,060
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
188.64 p
+0.24 +0.13%
Volume: 19.71M
Feb. 3, 2023 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.31%
Market Cap
£29.95 billion
Rev. per Employee
£297,978
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210449693/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 176.55
+0.56 +0.32%
Volume: 3.08M
Feb. 3, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
24.02
Dividend Yield
2.49%
Market Cap
$63.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.42M
loading...

Carla Mozée is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in London. Follow her on Twitter @MWMozee.

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