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FTSE 100 rises as Brexit looms

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Traders in LondonImage copyright
AFP

(Open): London’s leading shares edged higher in early Wednesday trading as investors awaited the start of the process of the UK’s exit from the EU.

In the opening minutes, the FTSE 100 rose 27.01 points or 0.37% to 7,370.43.

Best performer was 3i Group, adding 2.4% on the strength of a broker upgrade from Morgan Stanley.

On the currency markets, the pound was down 0.29% against the dollar at $1.2415 and 0.16% down against the euro at 1.1495 euros.

Later on Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May is due to give official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

“We could be in for a rough ride today, as currency traders react to the contents of the letter being delivered to Brussels and the language [Mrs] May uses in Parliament,” said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.

“And we’re in for a long period of volatility for the pound and UK assets as the government embarks on protracted and hugely challenging Brexit negotiations.

“Sterling will be incredibly sensitive to negotiations and will offer a clear gauge of how things are panning out.”

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