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June 2, 2020, 6:30 a.m. EDT

Pound tops $1.25 as FTSE 100 extends gains

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch


Getty Images
People walk past closed shops in Portobello Market in London on June 1, 2020, following the easing of the lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pound on Tuesday moved past the $1.25 level for the first time in more than a month, rising as traders price in a more optimistic global environment.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.0080%  traded at $1.2559, up from $1.2490 on Monday.

The dollar has been losing ground to several currencies of late, even before the recent riots that have been gripping the U.S. The Australian dollar /zigman2/quotes/210560947/realtime/sampled AUDUSD +0.5043%  and Norwegian kroner /zigman2/quotes/210561608/realtime/sampled NOKUSD +0.7491%  have gained even more than the pound over the last month.

“The U.S. dollar [is] seemingly taking all the pressure at this moment, while U.S. yields remain locked in well-defined ranges,” said Robin Wilkin of Lloyds Bank.

The gains came as the last round of U.K.-European Union negotiations started. The transition period extension deadline is the end of June. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is going to meet Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President, later this month.

The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.06%  gained 0.9%, after having advanced for 4 of the last 5 sessions.

Gainers included Meggitt /zigman2/quotes/208933633/delayed UK:MGGT -6.81%  and Rolls-Royce /zigman2/quotes/203646520/delayed UK:RR -3.58% , both of which are reliant on the aerospace industry for business.

Tesco /zigman2/quotes/203761082/delayed UK:TSCO -0.88%  was lower as the supermarket chain said its chief financial officer, Alan Stewart, will retire.

/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.2552
-0.0001 -0.0080%
Volume: 0.0000
July 14, 2020 4:28p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210560947/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
0.6975
+0.0035 +0.5043%
Volume: 0.0000
July 14, 2020 4:28p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561608/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
0.1065
+0.0008 +0.7491%
Volume: 0.0000
July 14, 2020 4:28p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,179.75
+3.56 +0.06%
Volume: 703,449
July 14, 2020 4:56p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208933633/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
296.90 p
-21.70 -6.81%
Volume: 3.22M
July 14, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
10.48
Dividend Yield
1.87%
Market Cap
£2.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203646520/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
258.20 p
-9.60 -3.58%
Volume: 7.93M
July 14, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
£5.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203761082/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
213.10 p
-1.90 -0.88%
Volume: 26.47M
July 14, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
21.48
Dividend Yield
4.29%
Market Cap
£21.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch markets editor for Europe. Follow him on Twitter: @MKTWgoldstein.

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