Investor Alert

London Markets

Feb. 25, 2019, 9:16 a.m. EST

FTSE 100 held back by rising pound as U.K.’s May delays Brexit vote

By Emily Horton


London’s markets struggled on Monday, bucking a positive trend for the rest of Europe’s indexes, after the pound rose and held back the FTSE 100 on the news U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has delayed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal.

Heavyweight miners boosted London’s indexes.

How are markets performing?

The FTSE 100 (FTSE:UK:UKX) was slightly subdued on Monday compared to the rest of Europe’s markets, flat at 7,179.20 after finishing 0.8% down for the week last Friday.

Market momentum was held back by a strong pound (XTUP:GBPUSD) which fetched $1.3073 from $1.3055 late on Friday in New York, after Prime Minister Theresa May pushed back U.K. parliament’s vote on her Brexit deal to March 12.

Read: Dollar rivals gain as trade deadline extension boosts risk appetite

The relief comes from hopes that Britain's official exit date “will likely be extended given that the vote could take place just 17 days before the U.K. is officially due to exit the European Union” according to Dean Popplewell, vice president of Market Analysis. Furthermore, the delay is likely to reduce the chance of Britain leaving the European Union with no-deal, removing a thin layer of uncertainty.

What’s driving the markets?

Heavyweight miners supported the FTSE 100 on Monday, with Glencore PLC (LON:UK:GLEN) up 2%, Antofagasta PLC (LON:UK:ANTO)  jumping by 1.7% and Evraz PLC (LON:UK:EVR) adding 1.2%.

Global stocks rose after President Donald Trump’s tariff deadline delay to $200 billion of Chinese goods. He tweeted on Sunday “substantial progress” had been made during negotiations between the world’s two largest economies.

What stocks are active?

Persimmon PLC (LON:UK:PSN) tumbled 5.3% on Monday, after the UK-listed home builder came under fire from UK housing minister James Brokenshire for its practices in a government funded housing scheme called “Help to Buy”, Reuters reported . In sympathy, Barratt Developments PLC (LON:UK:BDEV)  and Taylor Wimpey PLC also dropped by around 2%.

Bunzl PLC (LON:UK:BNZL)   lost over 3% on Monday, despite a rise in profits and an upbeat outlook from the distribution-and-outsourcing company.

After Associated British Food PLC (LON:UK:ABF) warned it expects to report a flat first-half adjusted earnings on sales, its share price dropped by 1.4%.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca PLC (LON:UK:AZN)  climbed by 1.7% after the heavyweight pharmaceutical company announced its heart drug Brilinta had met a goal in a late-stage trail, which showed a statistically significant reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events compared to aspirin alone.

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