At the close: Pound picks up and FTSE 100 falls down

Jake Cordell
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It was another quiet August day in the City
It was another quiet August day in the City (Source: Getty)

Sterling moved higher today as the shine came off the stock markets in afternoon trading.

Today, 31 was the magic number for the pound. After flirting with setting a new 31-year low last week, the currency climbed back above what has become a crucial $1.31 barrier to stand at $1.3131 at pixel time against the greenback.

The pound performed even stronger against the euro, rising to €1.1610, up 0.6 per cent after the government downplayed speculation it was gearing up to invoke Article 50.

On the stock markets, the familiar pattern of a stronger pound nudging the benchmark index down played out.

Read more: City giants play down Brexit hit

The FTSE 100 was off by 0.4 per cent, mirroring sterling's climb against the dollar, to stand at 6,828.54 at the close. Weak commodity prices dragged down miners with Fresnillo off 5.9 per cent. Anglo American and Rangold were both down four per cent.

Overall, the mood in the City was tentative, however, with volumes down and attention slipping to Janet Yellen's crucial Jackson Hole speech later this week.

Joshua Mahony of IG said: "In a week of low volumes and few volatility-driving events of note, it is no wonder that we are starting the week with one eye on the end of it."

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