FTSE 100 gets trade sentiment boost; exporters rise on pound decline
By Shashwat Awasthi and Indranil Sarkar
Sept 24 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 moved higher on Tuesday, bolstered by exporter stocks that rose as sterling hovered near one-week lows ahead of a key Supreme Court ruling related to the suspension of Britain's parliament.
The market mood was also lifted by good news that U.S.-China trade talks would resume next month.
The main index .FTSErose 0.3% by 0741 GMT, as financial stocks .FTNMX8350rebounded after a sharp sell-off in the previous session.
However, the more domestically-focussed FTSE 250 index .FTMCshed 0.2%, with the pound shaky before a ruling on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he suspended parliament just weeks before Brexit.
"Sterling will likely be sensitive to the ruling, even if it possibly changes very little," Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said. "The real battle will likely be around the law that was passed forcing Johnson to request an extension."
Shares of companies that book a major chunk of their earnings in dollars advanced, with GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L, AstraZeneca AZN.L and Diageo DGE.L rising almost 1% each.
Though sentiment was broadly upbeat on hopes that a resumption in talks would lead to a solution to the protracted trade war, broader growth worries and a batch of mixed U.S. data overnight scuppered any hopes of a full-fledged rally.
After its steepest monthly fall this year amid escalating trade tensions and recession fears in August, the blue-chip index has rebounded this month as various central banks have cut interest rates to counteract slowing global growth.
Domestic financial stocks and industrials dragged the mid-caps lower, though losses were contained thanks to an 8% jump in A.G.Barr BAG.L after the soft drinks maker stuck to its annual forecast despite a "disappointing" first-half.
Among smaller stocks, Metro Bank MTRO.L sank as much as 12% to a fresh life-low, as the troubled lender ditched a 250-million pound bond issue on Monday after failing to attract investors.
"It shows the kind of mire Metro is in after the accounting error and now expanding FCA investigation ... this is a worrying sign that the bank is not able to raise fresh debt and/or capital when the going gets tough," Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said.
AIM-listed ad agency M&C Saatchi SAA.L slid 14% to its lowest in more than seven years after warning annual profit would fall 5%-10% below estimates.
(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)
((Indranil.Sarkar@thomsonreuters.com; within UK +44 20 7542 1810, outside UK +91 80 6749 9573;))
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.