Upbeat Sterling Slows Down FTSE

Wednesday, 22nd January: The FTSE 100 opened 0.17% higher this morning, but the gains were only brief as the index spent the majority of the second half of the day in red. Berkeley Group was at the top of the index in the morning, up more than 5.0% following the news that they were to return £500 million to shareholders in March 2021. The news was welcomed by the market as the share price managed to hold onto the gains made in the morning throughout the entirety of the day. Sage group accompanied Berkeley at the top end of the index following their Q1 trading update which was in line with expectations and allowed them to climb more than 3.0% higher on the index.

After mid-day, the strengthening pound pushed the FTSE lower as optimism amongst UK businesses was up following fresh data from the Confederation of British Industry which showed total orders balance improved above consensus and to its best result in five months. Sterling was up 0.6% to $1.3131.

Burberry was at the bottom end of the index following the release of their Q3 trading update which was actually quite upbeat as they experienced better than expected sales. However, the ongoing geo-political issues in Asia stole the limelight from the luxury brands’ good results which caused them to sink on the blue-chip index and close 5.0% lower.

At the end of the day the FTSE 100 closed 0.51% lower at 7571.92.

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