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FTSE 100 outperforms as sterling slumps on UK data

Fri, 12th Mar 2021

The FTSE 100 was modestly lower by lunchtime on Friday, outperforming other European markets which saw larger falls. Weakness in sterling on a messy set of UK economic data helped lift the internationally-focused FTSE which was broadly flat around midday at 6,733.21. The UK economy shrank by 2.9% in January, somewhat lower than the 4.9% drop many were anticipating, but UK imports and exports both fell by 19.3% in January Housebuilder Berkeley said it remained on track to deliver annual profit similar to last year's, in line with guidance, as market fundamentals remained 'strong' supported by low interest rates and an undersupply of homes. Its shares fell 6.3% to £42.86. Sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion said it had struck a conditional agreement to acquire 60% of Poland-based Marketing Investment Group S.A. in an effort to expand into Central and Eastern Europe. Its shares traded flat at 825.8p. Luxury fashion brand Burberry gained 6.5% to £21.16 as it said it expected annual adjusted operating profit to top market expectations and higher comparable store sales as the strong rebound in performance since December had continued. Thermal processing services provider Bodycote dipped 0.4% to 799p as it swung to an annual loss as restructuring costs and a pandemic-led decline in revenue weighed on performance. Independent cruise port operator Global Ports reported wider annual losses as the pandemic brought cruise travel to a halt, with passenger volumes sliding by 76%. Its shares were up 3.9% to 96p. Story provided by

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