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23 Jan 2019 | 17:01

Stronger sterling keeps FTSE 100 in the red

Sterling hit its highest level since November on reports that Labour will support a move to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal in March, leaving the FTSE 100 in the doldrums.

The blue chip index fell 0.8% to 6,842 with Germany's DAX also in negative territory, down 0.2%.

Wall Street initially enjoyed some gains before easing back at around 5pm UK time.

Brent crude slid 1.3% to $60.70 per barrel.


UK fashion brand Burberry rose 2.9% after its same-store sales in the third quarter slowed from a year earlier to 1%.

Plastic packaging supplier RPC added 4.9% on news that it had accepted a £3.32bn takeover bid from private equity firm Apollo Management.

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon was broadly unmoved at £11.93 as it warned rising costs would offset a bumper sales performance to send its profits lower.

Book, stationary and snack retailer WH Smith gained 2.6% to £19.24 after it boosted year-to-date sales by 6%, buoyed by strength in its travel division.

Challenger bank Metro Bank tumbled 39% to £13.45, despite it forecasting a more than doubling in annual profit, as profit 'softened' in the last quarter.

Computer services provider Computacenter rallied 9.8% to £11.18 as it forecast annual profits ''marginally ahead' of its expectations.

Asset and corporate services provider Sanne slumped 17.7% on announcing the departure of its CEO amid a profit performance expected to be 'broadly in line' with its expectations.


Lifestyle fashion retailer Joules dipped 3.5% to 250p, even as it posted a 15% rise in underlying first-half profit.

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