Lo-sers: Sterling and the FTSE 100 both fell today as the dollar strengthened

Emma Haslett
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It's been a quiet day on the markets - but that didn't stop the pound and the FTSE 100 both losing ground as the dollar continued to climb.

Sterling was 0.7 per cent lower at $1.2323 in late afternoon trading, and 0.3 per cent lower against the euro at €1.1647. To be fair, that was an improvement on earlier in the day, when it fell as low as €1.1583.

The fall came after comments from Janet Yellen which made an interest rate hike in December a seem far more certain. During testimony to the Joint Economic Committee in Washington, she said a rate rise will come "relatively soon". Stirring stuff.

The dollar was also up against the euro, rising as high as €0.9456, 0.5 per cent higher.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 - which as a rule tends to rise when the pound falls - closed 0.3 per cent lower, at 6,775.8 points, although it was higher on the week.

The index was dragged lower by miners Fresnillo, Randgold and Antofagasta, as well as Rolls-Royce, which announced today a non-executive director, Alan Davies, had stepped down from its board - without much of an explanation.

"Interestingly the European indices found little joy in their dollar-blighted currencies," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.

"That is because the dollar’s strength is also hurting commodity prices, with a red-soaked set of oil and mining stocks causing the FTSE to fall by 25 to 30 points as the day went on."

Indeed: the Cac and the Dax both closed lower, by 0.5 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively. Ouch.

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