Pound gains strength as Boris Johnson enters Downing Street


The pound rose slightly yesterday as Boris Johnson officially took office, as the euro suffered from jitters ahead of Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting.

Sterling was up 0.47% on the greenback at $1.25, and it gained 0.54% on the single currency to trade at €1.121.

Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said sterling could fluctuate as the new leader made his first moves.

The FTSE 100 index of leading shares dropped 55.4 points to close 0.73% lower at 7,501.46 as mining stocks dragged on the index.

The French Cac was down 0.22% but the German Dax rose 0.26%.

On the oil markets, prices were down as traders shrugged off new data showing a fall in the size of the US’s crude inventories.

A barrel of Brent Crude oil was trading at 64 US dollars, down 0.3%.

In company news, Aston Martin’s year went from bad to worse on Wednesday as bosses admitted sales of their luxury cars have been weaker than expected.

Shares crashed on the news, shedding 268.2p to 766.8p.

Specialist insurer Just Group saw shares drop 5.09p to 49.06p after retirement income sales plummeted by 30% in the first half of the year.

ITV reported a fall in revenues and earnings for the past six months, despite hailing a strong performance by Love Island.

But the broadcaster was the biggest riser on the FTSE 100, gaining 7p to 113.25p, after the results avoided investors’ worst fears.

Shares in Marston’s plunged 14.6p to 107.2p after the pub giant warned investors of weaker sales over the past four months.

Sports Direct confirmed a new date for the release of its annual results, which are now scheduled for Friday.

The company’s shares declined last week after it postponed the results, but had gained 26.2p to close at 254.6p on Wednesday.

Drinks maker Britvic hailed a “solid” third quarter even as its sales decreased. Shares dipped 5.5p to 890p.

Bargain chain B&M has reported growth in the first quarter, despite tough competition from last year’s bumper summer.

Shares jumped 18.2p to 375.3p.

Standard Life Aberdeen settled a long-running feud with Lloyds Banking Group, which will have to cash out £140 million to the fund management business.

Shares in Standard Life were up 3.2p to 310.4p while Lloyds shares were flat at 56.97p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were ITV up 7p to 113.25p, Informa up 54p to 881p, Taylor Wimpey up 6.45p to 173.5p and Next up 196p to 5,658p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Rio Tinto down 222p to 4,606.5p, Standard Chartered down 32.2p to 682.4p, BHP Group down 81.7p to 1,960.8p, Croda International down 164p to 4,662p.


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