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FTSE 100 rises but pound suffers after shock election result


Most of the losses for sterling came after a shock exit poll late on Thursday

Most of the losses for sterling came after a shock exit poll late on Thursday

Most of the losses for sterling came after a shock exit poll late on Thursday

The FTSE 100 climbed higher following the shock General Election result as the pound suffered losses against both the dollar and euro.

London's top flight index ended the day up by more than 1% or 77.35 points at 7,527.33 as investors digested news that Theresa May's Conservatives had fallen short of an overall Commons majority, resulting in a hung parliament.

Sterling also plummeted off the back of the result, having dropped 1.7% against the US dollar since Thursday evening to trade at 1.27 - its lowest level since mid-April.

Versus the euro, the pound also fell more than 1.1% to 1.13 euros, to levels not seen since January.

The slump in sterling is a boon for multinational companies listed on the FTSE 100, as many of these firms tend to benefit from earnings in currencies that are stronger than the pound.

The FTSE 250 - which is considered a better barometer of UK sentiment as it hosts more domestically-focused firms - rose modestly by 0.1% or 26.55 points to 19,769.96.

Michael Metcalfe, global head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets, said: "Markets were poorly prepared for this surprise result in the UK.

"The approach to the potentially larger and more dangerous hurdle of Brexit will now surely be delayed. It is a shock that markets were not well prepared for, and in response sterling is likely to remain under pressure."

Markets had priced in a healthy Conservative majority, giving Mrs May free rein to take charge of Brexit negotiations unhindered.

However, others believe that a hung parliament increases the likelihood of a softer Brexit, which could be supporting the pound and preventing it going into freefall.

The FTSE 100's European counterparts also ended the day higher, with the French Cac 40 up nearly 0.7% and the German Dax up 0.8%.

Brent crude prices jumped more than 1% to around 48.41 US dollars per barrel (£37.99), despite the stronger US dollar, which tends to make the commodity more expensive for foreign investors.

Miners were among the FTSE 100's biggest risers, thanks to earnings made in US dollars, with Fresnillo rising 60p to 1,725p, and Antofagasta up 28p to 825p - or more than 3.5% each.

Shares in housebuilders, which are more domestically focused, ended the day lower.

Th e prospect of a property market slowdown, compounded by the latest reports pointing to falling prices and buying activity, pushed Taylor Wimpey down 3.2% or 6p to 177.5p.

Barratt Developments also dropped 13.5p to 576.5p or 2.3%.

The weaker pound hit retail giants Next and Marks & Spencer, which dropped 1.7% or 76p to 4,276p, and 1.8% or 6.6p to 360.1p, respectively.

Households are already facing a big squeeze with the weak pound sending prices soaring. Sterling's gloomy outlook under a hung parliament is expected to see consumers rein in their spending further.

Luxury retailer Burberry bucked the trend, rising 1.4% or 25p to 1,743p, benefiting from its wealthier overseas customer base.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Smurfit Kappa Group up 109p to 2,276p, Fresnillo up 60p to 1,725p, Antofagasta up 28p to 825p, and Standard Chartered up 21.2p to 780.2p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Taylor Wimpey down 6p to 177.5p, Babcock International Group down 26.5p to 882.5p, Royal Bank of Scotland Group down 6.3p to 250.9p, and Barratt Developments down 13.5p to 576.5p.