Pound takes a dive but FTSE 100 finishes flat

Emma Haslett
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Diver Tracey Miles of Great Britain
The pound fell on disappointing economic news (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 finished the day flat after a gentle week - but it was a different story for sterling, which continued to suffer after a slew of disappointing economic data this morning.

The UK's blue-chip index ended trading at 7,350.9 points, just 0.2 per cent higher than its opening price, up 0.5 per cent on the beginning of the week.

The index was pushed lower by media stocks including ITV and WPP, as well as Royal Mail, which fell 3.4 per cent after UBS analysts downgraded it to a "sell" rating.

Miners and energy stocks also suffered after official figures showed the UK's industrial production fell 0.1 per cent in April, badly missing economists' expectations of a 0.4 per cent rise. That pushed Fresnillo, Glencore, Randgold Resources, BP and Shell into the red.

Among the risers were EasyJet, whose shares rose 5.1 per cent, while Centrica and Rolls-Royce both jumped more than two per cent.

The pound, which took a beating after those industrial production figures, as well as the news the trade deficit has widened by £2bn and the construction sector undershot expectations in May, slid further against the dollar after stronger than expected non-farm payroll figures from the US.

It was hovering at $1.2879 in late afternoon trading in London, 0.7 per cent lower.

"Even though it was buoyed along by the US non-farm payrolls report, [the FTSE 100] still hasn’t negated the downward move it has been in since late May," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets.

"It has been largely a sideways week for the London benchmark and with few big name companies reporting their figures, traders haven’t had much to get excited about."

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