Things will work out fine: Pound drops and FTSE 100 suffers ahead of long weekend

Emma Haslett
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President Trump Holds News Conference In East Room Of White House
Comments by Trump sent the dollar into a spin overnight (Source: Getty)

The pound fell and banking stocks continued to suffer as the markets wound up for the extended Easter weekend.

Although the dollar fell in early trading after Donald Trump suggested it was over-valued ("because people have so much confidence in me") and hinted at worsening US-Russia relations, it regained its losses as the day went on, helped by encouraging words from Trump.

Having fallen as much as 0.5 per cent against the dollar, the pound was 0.1 per cent lower, at $1.2525, as markets in the UK closed.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 fell 0.3 per cent to 7,327 points, 27 points above its open on Monday.

Lenders remained at the bottom of the pile, with HSBC, Standard Chartered and RBS all suffering as results from US lenders Wells Fargo (which disappointed), JP Morgan (which smashed expectations) and Citigroup (which also beat forecasts) failed to allay fears.

HSBC finished at the bottom of the FTSE 100, 1.7 per cent lower at 643.9p, while Standard Chartered fell 1.7 per cent to 709.5p, and RBS and Barclays fell 1.3 per cent to 228.4p and 0.5 per cent to 212.7p respectively.

"In a week where Donald Trump has been seemingly fighting pushing back against both the Russia-Syria and China-North Korea relationships, there is no wonder we have seen geopolitical fears dominate the agenda," said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

"Chief amongst the week’s performers have been the havens such as gold and the Japanese yen. However, while we have seen weakness across risk assets, the late recovery... in stocks is perhaps a nod to the idea that next week will be driven by optimism, rather than fear.

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