The pound rose as high as $1.2317 against the US dollar as greenback continued its retreat from 14-year highs. Sterling was broadly flat against the euro in morning trading.
The FTSE was broadly flat despite the weaker dollar – which usually penalises FTSE 100 companies earnings large amounts in dollars – as the rising gold price boosted mining stocks.
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But London’s blue chip index was weighed down by pharma stocks – after US President-elect Donald Trump attacked high prices. Retailers also disappointed on a bumper day of results, with Associated British Foods, owner of Primark, and supermarket giant Tesco both dropping more than two per cent despite relatively healthy results.
On the global front the dollar suffered a sell-off after Trump failed to mention his broad economic policy during his much anticipated press conference.
Traders worldwide have seemingly stepped back slightly from the Trump reflation story, as doubts begin to emerge about the extent of his apparent campaign promises to provide a massive fiscal stimulus.
Gold spot prices were driven above $1,200 per troy ounce as the dollar weakened against a basket of currencies.