FTSE 100 edges up ahead of Budget and Fed meeting - but pound falls for the third day in a row

Emma Haslett
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Waiting game: the Budget takes place later today (Source: Getty)

Calloo, callay, it's Budget day - but equities investors kicked the day's trading off on a cautious note, ahead of George Osborne's big reveal, as well as a crucial meeting of the Federal Reserve later today.

The FTSE 100 edged up 0.4 per cent to 6,166 points in early trading, pushed up by miners including Anglo American, which rose 2.9 per cent to 499.4p, and Glencore, which rose 2.3 per cent to 144.2p.

London Stock Exchange Group was also up 0.5 per cent, to 2,916p, after it revealed that it had agreed a "merger of equals" with German rival Deutsche Boerse.

Meanwhile, the pound took a battering ahead of wage figures due out this morning, falling 0.24 per cent against the dollar, to $1.4117. Analysts expected growth of two per cent, up from the previous figure of 1.9 per cent.

But Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade, pointed out that it wasn't just wage figures hurting the currency.

"Most of the battering for the British pound is on the back of two major elements, firstly, it is the rate hike expectations which are pressed lower, as the MPC members have not shown much confidence in their strategy.

"Finally, it is about the Brexit, which is the major denominator in the sterling weakness."