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FTSE 100 watch: Footsie little changed as Brexit deal prospects lift pound

The UK benchmark index has slipped marginally into the red in today’s session, pressured by a rise in the pound as investors digested the prospects for a Brexit deal. The Sage Group (LON:SGE) has been one of this Wednesday’s most prominent FTSE 100 risers, having benefitted from comments at Deutsche Bank.

FTSE 100 subdued

As of 12:18 BST, the Footsie had given up 4.19 points to stand 0.06 percent lower at 7,233.40. The blue-chip index has been pressured by a rise in the pound which has benefitted from news that the UK and the European Union have made progress in negotiations over an Irish border backstop, a key hurdle in reaching a Brexit deal, as reported by Reuters.

“After a summer of heightened tensions, which saw the markets pricing in the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, it appears that both the EU and UK are now prepared to commit to some form of deal,” Ricardo Evangelista, analyst at ActivTrades in London, told the newswire.

Individual stock news

In individual movers, shares in The Sage Group have been in demand as Deutsche Bank lifted its rating on the stock. Proactive Investors quoted the broker as saying that the FTSE 100 company could “plausibly be attractive for a private equity buyer or activist”. Sage’s share price is 2.63 percent better off at 561.00p.

HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA), which agreed to pay $765 million to US authorities to settle claims over mis-sold mortgage-backed securities, is also outperforming the broader UK market, currently trading 1.51 percent higher at 665.60p.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.04 percent up at 7,240.10 points as of 12:38 BST on Wednesday, 10 October 2018.

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