(Reuters) – Britain’s exporter-heavy FTSE 100 lagged a trade sentiment-induced rally in global stocks on Friday, as hopes that a Brexit deal may be clinched by the end of the month lifted the pound and hit international firms.
The blue-chip index <.FTSE> shed 0.4% with exporter stocks such as Diageo <DGE.L> and Unilever <ULVR.L> dragging the most, as sterling firmed after Ireland sounded optimism on the chances of Britain leaving the European Union in an orderly fashion. The mid-cap FTSE 250 <.FTMC> added 0.3% by 0702 GMT.
The index lagged the broader European benchmark <.STOXX>, which rose after U.S. President Donald Trump stirred hopes of a trade agreement with China, calling the first day of talks “very good”.
The main index was also hurt by a near 4% drop in ad firm WPP <WPP.L> after French rival Publicis <PUBP.PA> cut its sales view for the second time, and a 3.4% fall in luxury brand Burberry <BRBY.L> after German rival Hugo Boss <BOSSn.DE> cut its annual forecast.
(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)