FTSE 100 in the red as pound inches higher

Top-flight shares in London were lower on Tuesday as the pound strengthened a little, while markets regained their nerve following a drop in Asian stocks overnight.

The FTSE 100 closed down 52.16 points, or 0.72%, at 7,171.69.

It was partly affected by tentative gains in the pound, which was stronger on the back of political developments.

Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said: “The pound was finding some support from suggestions that Jeremy Corbyn is planning an early vote of no confidence against Boris Johnson after the summer recess.

“With opposition growing in Parliament over Bojo’s do or die Brexit mantra on 31 October there could well be enough support for a new leader at the helm.”

The currency climbed 0.18% on the euro to 1.085, and was up 0.07% to 1.215 US dollars.

Stocks were also suffering from losses in the Asian markets overnight, after China’s currency fell sharply on Monday. But the mood was calmer after China took steps to shore up the yuan.

The German Dax was 0.78% lower and the French Cac was down 0.13%.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK said: “Traders are treading lightly, but things could have been a lot worse when you look at the early losses suffered overnight in Asia before the PBoC [People’s Bank of China] made their move.”

Oil prices stabilised as global tensions simmered down. A barrel of Brent crude oil was trading at 59.62 US dollars, down 0.7%.

Mr Madden said: “Oil is subdued as US-China tensions cool a little, but concerns still remain in relation to the health of the global economy. A protracted trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies is looming over global growth, and in turn the energy market.”

In London, David Wild quit as chief executive of Domino’s as he revealed that an ongoing feud with franchisees is unlikely to be resolved until next year.

Shares in the company surged 3.9p to 237.7p as chairman Stephen Hemsley also announced he would step down.

Engine-maker Rolls-Royce reported narrowed half-year losses, but revealed ongoing woes with its Trent 1000 turbine issues.

Karen Millen shop front
Boohoo has bought the online businesses of Karen Millen and Coast (Nick Ansell/PA)

It languished at the bottom of the FTSE 100 as shares dropped 56p to 759p.

Fast-fashion internet giant boohoo has bought the online businesses of Karen Millen and Coast, in a move which is likely to see the brands disappear from the high street.

Shares in the firm were up 9.4p to 239.5p following the announcement.

Mining giant Sirius cast doubt over plans to build a colossal fertiliser mine in the North Yorkshire Moors after it halted a major bond offering, sending shares tumbling by 4.2p, or 28.8%, to 10.4p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Royal Bank of Scotland Group, up 3.35p to 200.8p, Spirax-Sarco Engineering up 110p to 610p, Ferguson up 74p to 5,924p and St James’s Place up 10.8p to 931.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Rolls-Royce Holdings down 56p to 759p, NMC Health down 144p to 2,258p, Centrica down 1.9p to 69.32p and Mondi down 40p to 1,553.5p.

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