FTSE on course for worst week since the start of November, sterling rises ahead of general election hopes

By Hazel Davis

Election positivity raises sterling’s prospects

The 0'>FTSE is on course for its worst week since the start of November thanks to currency gains, closing at 7,137.85, down -0.7 per cent.

However, the pound did well after recent polling showed UK prime minister Boris Johnson has a nine-point lead ahead of next week’s UK general election. Sterling reached a 31-month high against the 0'>Euro late Thursday afternoon, reaching €1.185 for the first time since May 2017. It hoiked itself up against the 0'>US dollar, too, reaching a seven-month high of $1.316.

US shares rose again based on renewed optimism over a US-China trade deal, discussions of which President Donald Trump said were going “very well”. These no doubt, will continue to fluctuate according to the ongoing trade discussions – with the Asian markets following. Crude oil prices inched up after Wednesday’s surge and ahead of a meeting in which OPEC members look likely to agree on deeper output cuts in an attempt to hold up prices.

The Stoxx 600 closed at 402.68, down by 0.13 per cent. The French 0'>CAC 40 closed up 0.03 per cent, climbing to 5,801.55 after peaking earlier in the day. Germany's 0'>DAX fell by -0.65 per cent closing at 13,054.80.

After Wednesday’s sudden surge, where a total of 1.3m 0'>Bitcoin worth nearly $9bn was moved in a single hour, liquidating shorts galore, the currency remained steady by close of play.

0'>Alibaba Group’s stock was up as high as 3.07 per cent at 199.69 in late afternoon trading following its successful listing in Hong Kong and $11bn share sale.

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