Economy Falling pound boosts FTSE after weak UK manufacturing data

Falling pound boosts FTSE after weak UK manufacturing data

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Falling pound boosts FTSE after weak UK manufacturing data

British shares rose on Tuesday as data showing a slowdown in manufacturing growth to a 17-month low sent the pound lower, giving dollar-earning firms a tailwind and helping keep the FTSE afloat while most European bourses were closed for Labour Day.

The data was the latest in a run of mediocre economic indicators for the UK and further reduced the chances of a rate increase from the Bank of England when it meets next week.

The pound was also hurt by the resignation of Britain’s interior minister and uncertainty over the course of Brexit after the upper house voted to give parliament the power to block or delay a final deal on departure from the European Union.

At 0910 GMT, the blue-chip index was up 0.31 percent to 7,532.51 points. Oil major BP added the most points with a 1.3 percent rise after reporting a 71 percent jump in profit in the first quarter.

 Concern that U.S. President Donald Trump may pull out of the Iran nuclear deal is keeping oil prices under pressure but overall sentiment benefited from his decision to postpone the imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

Food delivery group Just Eat enjoyed the strongest rise, up 4.7 percent after reporting revenues for the first-quarter.

Liberum analysts said that given the “very strong” trading update, Just Eat’s annual sales would probably be higher than expected.

“The implication is that their revenue guidance looks far too conservative,” they wrote.

Among smaller market capitalisations, shares in Johnston Press jumped 9 percent following the resignation of its CEO, Ashley Highfield, after more than six years at the helm of the publisher of The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post newspapers.

British spreadbetting company Plus500 jumped 6.7 percent as it reported a five-fold jump in its first-quarter core earnings on Tuesday, helped by a spike in customer numbers seeking to cash in on the crypto-currency trading boom.

 Challenger bank Virgin Money was up 4 percent after it published strong credit performance and better-than-expected deposit growth figures from savers, as a string of business-boosting initiatives started to bear fruit.

British insurer Aviva rose 1 percent as it launched a 600 million pound ($825 million) share buyback programme, as part of a bigger 2 billion pound capital deployment plan aimed at slashing debt and boosting share earnings.

On other European markets, Danish brewer Carlsberg was up 0.5 percent after reporting a 5 percent fall in sales in the first quarter, hurt by currency moves and lower volumes in its key Russian market.

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