FTSE 100 Marginally Higher As Pound Slips After Weak GDP Data

(RTTNews) - U.K. stocks edged up slightly on Thursday while the pound dipped against its rivals after data showed the U.K. economy slipped into a recession in the fourth quarter -- bringing forward prospects of interest-rate cuts.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the U.K. gross domestic product declined 0.3 percent sequentially, following an unrevised 0.1 percent fall in the third quarter. Economists had forecast another 0.1 percent fall for the fourth quarter.

Compared to the last year, real GDP declined 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.1 percent.

With U.K. inflation unexpectedly holding steady in January and the economy slipping into a technical recession, traders are now pricing in 70 bps of cuts from the Bank of England this year, with the first cut expected in June.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 8 points, or 0.1 percent, at 7,577 after closing 0.7 percent higher on Wednesday.

In corporate news, energy supplier Centrica rallied 3.8 percent despite reporting a drop in annual profit.

Mining giant BHP fell about 1 percent after it flagged another $3.2 billion impairment in relation to its Brazilian Samarco dam failure, and a $2.5 billion impairment charge for its Western Australia Nickel business.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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