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15 Nov 2018 | 11:32

FTSE 100 rises as sterling dives on Brexit panic

The FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 7,045.88 approaching midday after a volatile morning as Brexit secretary Dominic Raab resigned from the cabinet because he cannot support the draft Brexit deal. This has caused sterling to plunge from the levels reached after news of the deal first broke on Wednesday.

The more domestic focused FTSE 250 is down 0.8% and sectors like housebuilding and banks, which do most of their business in the UK, are on the back foot. Miners, and stocks with significant overseas exposure, like HSBC, enjoy gains.


Housebuilder Bovis Homes (BVS) was among the weakest performers as it updated on trading and referenced Brexit uncertainty. While sales rates and house prices achieved were in line with expectations and roughly flat year-to-date, the company noted an increasing number of buyers were choosing the part-exchange option. Its shares fell 7% to 966.6p

Antofagasta climbed 2.5% to 781p as it said Thursday it was granted approval to expand its Los Pelambres mine with first production expected in the second half of 2021.

Infrastructure services group Kier fell 3.3% to 846p after it said it had reached an agreement to sell KHSA to Downer Group for up to AUS$43.7m, or about £24m in cash.

Royal Mail slumped 6.9% to 324.1p after reporting a 25% drop in first-half profit as the company suffered from lower UK revenue due to declining letter volumes, poor UK productivity performance and smaller profit margins at its GLS European logistics arm.

Defence technology company Qinetiq added 1.4% to 274.6p after it said "significant" campaign wins and strong organic growth had left it "well-placed" to meet its full-year expectations as it reported a 7% increase in first-half revenue.

International private hospital group Mediclinic fell 3% to 344.7p as it reported a 15% drop in first-half profit as regulatory changes in Switzerland impacted performance, outweighing the revenue growth seen by the company's South Africa and Middle East divisions.

Thermal processing services company Bodycote slipped 1.5% to 769.5p as it said Thursday the pace of revenue growth would moderate in the last two months of the year against a tough comparative from last year, but maintained its full-year guidance.

Self-storage company Safestore lost 5% to 521.5p despite reporting an increase in group revenue of over 11% in the fourth quarter of 2018, with both the UK and Paris trading divisions reporting growth.

Card Factory slipped 1.3% to 191.5p after it reported slower like-for-like growth in nine months through October compared with a year earlier, but reiterated its guidance for full-year earnings ahead of the crucial Christmas period.

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