The pound rose towards the $1.31 mark on Friday as the dollar skidded lower and traders took stock at the end of a bruising week for the British currency.
The UK’s top share index held its ground on Friday, outperforming a broadly negative European market, as global trade uncertainty and political troubles closer to home spurred demand for defensive stocks and earnings filtered through.
Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley Plc’s BEZG.L first-half profit slumped as its bond portfolio took a hit from higher U.S. interest rates, while the company also warned a “hard” Brexit could prove very expensive for Britain’s insurance sector.
Earnings updates were the main focus on Thursday as Britain’s top share index inched higher, but it stayed within recent tight ranges as caution over the outcome of Brexit talks predominated.
Sterling fell below $1.30 for the first time in 10 months on Thursday as the combination of weak economic data and a resurgent dollar sapped appetite for the British currency.
Royal Mail Plc’s (RMG.L) shareholders rejected a pay package for its senior executives on Thursday.
Earnings updates were the main focus for investors in British shares on Thursday as the country’s top FTSE 100 index inches higher, although remaining within recent tight ranges on caution over the outcome of Brexit talks.
British engineer Babcock (BAB.L) cut its full-year revenue growth target as delays in government spending on submarines hit its Marine division, sending its shares down more than 10 percent.
World stocks hit a one-month high on Wednesday as a bullish outlook from the head of the U.S. central bank and rising company earnings buoyed the mood, lifted the dollar and sent safe-haven gold to a one-year trough.
UK’s top share index marched higher, helped by a weaker pound as company earnings took centre stage with some notable share price moves for easyJet and Smiths Group.