FTSE 100 retreats as stronger pound, virus concerns counter vaccine progress

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain

London’s fell on Wednesday as a stronger pound pressured exporters, while investors contemplated higher inflation and the economic impact from surging coronavirus cases as euphoria over a breakthrough in COVID-19 vaccines dimmed.

The blue-chip index slipped 0.5%, while the domestically focused mid-cap lost 0.3%.

Official data showed British inflation picked up by a little more than expected in October to 0.7%, as coronavirus restrictions tightened in much of the country.

Meanwhile, UK on Tuesday reported 598 deaths, its highest figure since May, and a further 20,051 cases, with a media report saying British households will be banned from mixing when the lockdown ends under government’s plans to rescue Christmas.

In company news, RSA Insurance Group RSA.L jumped 3.8% after it received a cash takeover offer worth 7.2 billion pounds from Canadian insurer Intact Financial IFC.TO and Danish insurer.

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