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Dec. 27, 2019, 9:35 a.m. EST

Strong pound keeps a lid on gains for the FTSE 100

Many top companies in FTSE 100 generate revenue outside Britain, so their stock prices rise when sterling falls

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


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London stocks traded higher Friday, but underperformed other European regional indexes due to a strong British pound.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.7182%  climbed 0.8% to $1.3096, while the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.30%  rose 0.3% to 7,655.53. Many of the top companies in the FTSE 100 generate the bulk of revenue outside of Britain, so their stock prices rise when sterling falls.

Volumes are expected to be thin on Friday, as many traders may stretch the Christmas break into the weekend, and may not return until after the New Year holiday.

Reports of blockbuster holiday sales from Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.51%  helped drive all three main U.S. indexes to record closes on Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.05%  closing above 9,000 for the first time. U.S. stock futures pointed to potentially more records for Friday.

Separately, data from China revealed industrial profits improved in November. Mining stocks, sensitive to news from China, rose. Shares of Rio Tinto PLC /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO +1.78%   /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO +3.97%  rose 1.3% and Anglo American PLC /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +2.50%  gained 1.4%.

Banks, oil and pharmaceutical stocks were also higher. Shares of HSBC Holdings Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/208272822/composite HSBC +1.80%  gained 1% and BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP -1.14%   /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP +4.10%  rose 0.9%. GlaxoSmithKline PLC /zigman2/quotes/200381158/delayed UK:GSK -0.99%   added 0.9%.

/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.3463
+0.0096 +0.7182%
Volume: 0.0000
Dec. 3, 2020 8:45a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,482.61
+19.22 +0.30%
Volume: 321,268
Dec. 3, 2020 1:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 3,203.53
-16.55 -0.51%
Volume: 3.13M
Dec. 2, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
93.82
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1607.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$351,531
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
12,349.37
-5.74 -0.05%
Volume: 4.83M
Dec. 2, 2020 5:16p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
5,332.00 p
+93.00 +1.78%
Volume: 986,654
Dec. 3, 2020 1:30p
P/E Ratio
15.23
Dividend Yield
5.57%
Market Cap
£86.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 70.19
+2.68 +3.97%
Volume: 4.15M
Dec. 2, 2020 7:00p
P/E Ratio
15.88
Dividend Yield
5.50%
Market Cap
$111.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$852,406
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,438.50 p
+59.50 +2.50%
Volume: 1.24M
Dec. 3, 2020 1:30p
P/E Ratio
18.25
Dividend Yield
2.31%
Market Cap
£29.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208272822/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 27.78
+0.49 +1.80%
Volume: 3.01M
Dec. 2, 2020 7:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$110.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$402,908
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/zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
264.10 p
-3.05 -1.14%
Volume: 18.25M
Dec. 3, 2020 1:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
5.97%
Market Cap
£53.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
£3.11M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 21.07
+0.83 +4.10%
Volume: 18.10M
Dec. 2, 2020 7:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
8.88%
Market Cap
$71.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.99M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200381158/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,379.80 p
-13.80 -0.99%
Volume: 2.45M
Dec. 3, 2020 1:30p
P/E Ratio
10.88
Dividend Yield
5.80%
Market Cap
£69.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
£339,451
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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