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Aug. 23, 2018, 11:58 a.m. EDT

U.K.’s FTSE 100 finishes lower as ‘no-deal Brexit’ details hit

Pound also falls as analysts warn of economic disruption if Britain leaves the EU in March without an agreement

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By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch


Bloomberg News/Landov
Dominic Raab, the U.K.’s Brexit secretary, grabs the spotlight on Thursday.

The U.K.’s main stock index closed modestly lower Thursday, while the pound also dropped, as traders assessed fresh details covering the country’s contingency plans for a “no-deal” Brexit.

How markets are performing

The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.09% dipped 0.2% to end at 7,563.22, after edging up 0.1% in the prior session.

The British blue-chip gauge is showing a drop of 1.6% for the year to date.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0077% was buying $1.2831, down from $1.2914 late Wednesday in New York, but holding above last week’s more-than-one-year low around $1.27.

What’s moving markets

The U.K. government on Thursday released the first round of documents detailing the expected impact of a “no-deal” Brexit, though parts of the big reveal already had been featured in news reports. The move signaled that London is serious about walking away from talks if it doesn’t get a satisfactory agreement with the European Union.

Analysts have warned that a disorderly exit from the EU — without a deal covering future relations with the trade bloc — likely would cause severe economic disruption. The U.K. is slated to leave the EU in March.

Opinion: Gear up for a no-deal Brexit: 5 areas investors should watch

Also: A top London startup’s CEO flags the biggest Brexit threat to his industry

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the technical notices drawn up by various government departments are a “sensible, measured and proportionate approach to minimizing the impact of no deal on British firms, citizens, charities and public bodies.” He also said U.K. officials are confident that a deal with Brussels is still the most likely outcome, even as a new survey suggested most Brits don’t share that view.

What are strategists saying?

Raab’s “‘practical and proportionate’ advice in case — as is looking increasingly likely — the U.K. spirals out of the EU sans deal appears to have spooked sterling,” said Conor Campbell, a Spreadex analyst, in a note.

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Stocks in focus

Mining stocks Anglo American PLC /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL -2.17%  and Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES -2.74%  were among the FTSE 100’s biggest losers, falling by 2.6% and 2.4%, respectively, as prices for gold  and other metals dropped.

Shares in CRH PLC /zigman2/quotes/201759252/delayed UK:CRH +1.30% /zigman2/quotes/202550827/composite CRH +0.88% declined by 0.7%, as morning gains failed to stick. The provider of construction materials said first-half pretax profit increased 5% as its markets continued to recover.

AstraZeneca PLC’s stock /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN +0.61% /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN -1.42%  shed 0.9% after the drug giant said a clinical trial for a treatment for lung disease didn’t show it to be superior to an existing treatment.

/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,032.18
+5.24 +0.09%
Volume: 525,872
Aug. 7, 2020 4:59p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.3052
+0.0001 +0.0077%
Volume: 0.0000
Aug. 7, 2020 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,887.80 p
-41.80 -2.17%
Volume: 2.06M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
14.13
Dividend Yield
3.04%
Market Cap
£23.30 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,294.00 p
-36.50 -2.74%
Volume: 1.57M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
60.52
Dividend Yield
0.84%
Market Cap
£9.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201759252/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,955.00 p
+38.00 +1.30%
Volume: 409,191
Aug. 7, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
15.96
Dividend Yield
2.54%
Market Cap
£23.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202550827/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 38.79
+0.34 +0.88%
Volume: 181,768
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.50
Dividend Yield
2.32%
Market Cap
$30.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$351,172
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
8,470.00 p
+51.00 +0.61%
Volume: 991,924
Aug. 7, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
65.20
Dividend Yield
2.55%
Market Cap
£111.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 55.41
-0.80 -1.42%
Volume: 3.85M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
67.57
Dividend Yield
2.47%
Market Cap
$145.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$342,432
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Victor Reklaitis is a London-based markets writer for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @VicRek.

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