The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) recovered from an earlier dip this morning as the rising pound continues to apply pressure to the dollar-earning firms on the index. Sterling continued to climb today on the back of growing optimism over the progression of the Brexit negotiations with a deal on the Irish border being close to a conclusion. Shares in the Daily Mail & General Trust tumbled as the company swung to a loss.
The blue chip share index rose 0.25%, up 16 points at 7,410.20 by 11.25 GMT.
Outside the FTSE 100, the Daily Mail & General Trust (LON:DMGT) shares dropped 23% as the publisher reported a 13% decline in profit to £226mn from £260mn year-on-year. The company has reduced its stake in Euromoney Institutional Investor and has written down some of its businesses by over £200mn. The DMGT said that short-term earnings would be: “adversely affected by recent disposals and challenging conditions in some of our sectors”.
On the FTSE 100, Mediclinic International (LON:MDC) shares jumped 4.6% on the back of a double upgrade from Jeffries to Buy from Underperform.
Shares in BAE Systems (LON:BA) rose 2.4% as the aerospace and defence firm reached an agreement on its UK defined-benefit pension schemes with the trustee boards on its deficit recovery plans. Annual deficit recovery payments will rise from £205mn to £220mn next year.
Chemicals firm Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT) shares fell 0.3% as they went ex-dividend.
In the mid-caps, Marston’s (LON:MARS) shares soared 10.7% as the brewer reported annual profit and revenue growth. Pre-tax profit rose to £100.3mn from £80.8mn and revenue rose to £1.01bn from £937.3mn year-on-year.
On the currency markets, sterling rose 0.25% against the dollar to $1.3440 and gained 0.33% against the euro at €1.1353.