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FTSE 100 watch: Stronger pound pressures Footsie as trade truce rally fizzles out

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The UK benchmark index has fallen into the red in today’s session, pressured by a stronger pound and giving up some of the gains posted yesterday in the wake of the US-China trade truce. Ferguson (LON:FERG) has been one of the FTSE 100’s biggest individual fallers after updating investors on its first-quarter performance.

FTSE 100 loses ground

As of 12:25 GMT, the Footsie had given up 55.74 points to stand 0.79 percent lower at 7,006.67. Sentiment has been subdued today in the wake of the US-China trade truce, while a stronger pound is pressuring blue-chips with international exposure. Reuters reports that sterling has advanced after the European Union’s highest court said that the UK should be allowed to unilaterally revoke its departure notice. The news comes as the British parliament preparest to vote on Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal on December 11.

“We’re fairly neutral on the UK, but we’re playing it mainly through passive exposure – because you get the benefit of the currency if it weakens,” said Rory McPherson, investment director at Psigma Investment Management, as quoted by Reuters.

Individual Footsie movers

Shares in Ferguson have been sold off after the company reported today as the company updated investors on its first-quarter performance.

“A weak performance from the UK operations at Ferguson, the company formerly known as Wolseley, may be no great surprise to shareholders but a slowdown in the all-important US operations seems to be weighing on the share price,” AJ Bell’s investment director Russ Mould commented, as quoted by Proactive Investors. Ferguson’s share price is currently 4.16 percent better off at 4,982.50p.

BT Group (LON:BT.A) meanwhile has advanced 1.87 percent to 261.40p as Goldman Sachs turned bullish on the stock.

The FTSE 100 was 0.71 percent down at 7,012.10 points as of 12:52 GMT on Tuesday, 04 December 2018.

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