Sterling Stumbles as FTSE Ekes out Gain

Monday, February 4: The FTSE 100(+0.20%) posted a relatively flat performance, as did the FTSE 250(+0.20%) in a session characterised by a volatile pound. Sterling shed 0.25% against the euro and 0.34% against the US dollar in early trade, before rallying mid-afternoon by 0.44% and 0.41% respectively. The currency see-sawed on the back of rising fears of a no-deal Brexit as Theresa May aims to get Parliamentary approval for a revised deal on Feb. 13, and if it were to fail would see parliament vote on the next steps on Feb. 14.

FTSE 250 Metro bank(+3.78%) rallied on the back of positive sentiment from Broker Goodbody who said that the bank will likely be able to get investor support for a rights issue. A rights issue could be required after the challenger bank admitted misclassifying the risk level of some loans. U.S. investment firm Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb took a 5% stake in the business following the company’s share price collapse. The shares are over 30% lower on a 30 day view.

Ferrexpo(-7.93%) slipped intraday as the Group declared that it is conducting a comprehensive review of funds paid to a Ukrainian charity as part of its corporate social responsibility programme. The commodity trading & mining firm explained its auditor Deloitte LLP has received bank statements form the charity Blooming Land in order to verify the use of contributions by Ferrexpo. The bank statement from the charity revealed “as yet unexplained discrepancies”, with Ferrexpo deciding it will undertake a comprehensive independent review.

At the close European equities were mixed, with the FTSE 100 +0.20%, the CAC 40 -0.38% and the DAX 30 -0.04%.

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