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16 Jul 2019 | 16:37

FTSE closes higher as sterling hits two-year low

The FTSE 100 closed significantly higher on Tuesday as sterling dropped to its lowest level in two years on renewed fears over a no-deal Brexit.

Both Prime Minister candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt called the controversial Irish backstop 'dead', raising the likelihood of no-deal given the EU's insistence that it won't renegotiate its withdrawal agreement with the UK.

The benchmark index closed 0.6%, or 45.48 points higher, at 7,577.20.


Burberry soared 15.5% to £22.98 after a 4% uptick in same-store sales in the first quarter indicated that new design chief Riccardo Tisci's creations are proving popular with shoppers.

Mining titan Rio Tinto dipped 0.4% to £48.50 after it reported a 7% fall in second-quarter iron ore output and upped its estimated production costs following a cyclone, fire and operational challenges in Australia.

The company also increased the cost estimate for its Oyu Tolgoi copper project in Mongolia to between $6.5bn and $7.2bn -- up from the $5.3bn previously disclosed.

Soft drink company A.G. Barr tumbled 28% to 626p after the Irn-bru maker warned on profits.

Ryanair rose 2.7% to €10.36, despite the budget carrier warning that it would have to cut routes and would lose passengers as a result of the grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft.

Recruitment consultant Hays shed 1.1% to 150p as it reported flat net fees growth in the fiscal fourth quarter, as a challenging macroeconomic backdrop in Germany weighed on hiring activity.

Information services company Experian fell 1.4% to £23.85 after its first-quarter revenue growth was kept to 4%, as growth in the US was offset by a weaker performance in the UK and Ireland.


Auto parts company Surface Transforms jumped 20.5% to 23.5p on the back of news that it had been selected as a tier-one supplier of a carbon ceramic brake disc to a 'major German automotive company'.

Packaging company Mpac soared 26.2% to 197.5p on announcing that it expected to post a full-year result 'significantly' ahead of current market forecasts.

Legal services firm Gateley gained 0.6% to 165p after a strong set of results for the year to 30 April with revenues up 20% to £103.5m and pre-tax profit up 9% to £15.9m.

Digital performance marketing group XLMedia gained 7% to 77.9p as it launched a tender offer to buy back up to around 9.5% of its shares on issue.

President Energy rose 1.3% to 7.1p on announcing that fracturing activities at a well in Argentina had so far generated results at the high end of initial expectations.

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