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NEWS

FTSE 100 extends record streak on company news

By Pranav Kashyap, Sruthi Shankar and Khushi Singh

(Reuters) -Britain’s FTSE 100 extended its record rally for the fifth straight session on Monday, helped by positive corporate updates, while a stronger pound boosted midcaps.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 advanced 1.3%, after touching highest levels in over thirteen months, and taking support from a rise in pound as the currency reached its highest in around two weeks against the dollar.

“Cable (the pound versus the dollar) was trading closer to the 1.2000-level… the negative impact from the energy price shock in the region continues to fade,” MUFG analysts said in a note.

FTSE 100 stocks move in an inverse relationship to the currency, earning their revenues in dollars while reporting profits in sterling, but they were supported by positive company news.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.1%, after hitting an all-time high of 8,189.14 points earlier in the day. The index has gained for eight of the last nine sessions.

British stocks appear to have turned a corner after months of underperformance compared to their global peers as signs of inflation coming under control, and a recovering economy attract buyers.

While concerns remain that the U.S. Federal Reserve will delay interest rate cuts this year, market participants expect the Bank of England to start easing rates in August.

In corporate updates, Anglo American added 4.0% after a source familiar with the matter told Reuters that BHP Group was considering an improved offer after Anglo rejected a $39 billion proposal last week.

Insurer Prudential gained 2.4% after a solid update from Hong Kong-based rival AIA group.

Frasers Group rose 3.1% as the apparel and sportswear retailer announced a share buyback programme.

On the downside, JD Sports slipped 3.0% to the bottom of FTSE 100 after Barclays analysts cut rating on the fashion retailer to “equal weight” from “overweight”.

Petrofac slumped 34.1% to a record low after a group of noteholders offered the oilfield services provider a $300 million credit line and the company delayed the publication of its full-year results to May 31.

(Reporting by Pranav Kashyap, Khushi Singh and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K and Barbara Lewis)

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