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Brexit drags sterling to eight-week low


The London Stock Exchange in the City of London. Photo: Reuters

The London Stock Exchange in the City of London. Photo: Reuters


The London Stock Exchange in the City of London. Photo: Reuters

Sterling fell to an eight-week low against the dollar and the basket of currencies measuring its broader strength on Tuesday, hit by fears of prolonged political jousting over the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union.

British Prime Minister Theresa May won parliamentary backing on Monday to begin the process of leaving the EU and start two years of talks that will shape the future of Britain and Europe.

The Iseq overall index of Irish shares fell along with most other European exchanges yesterday as uncertainty surrounding the outcome of elections in Holland and the possibility of an interest rate hike in the US next weighed on sentiment.

It was a mixed day for oil and gas stocks, with Petroneft and Providence Resources suffering double-digit declines. However, Kenmare Resources rose by 4.4pc, while Ormonde Mining gained 8.4pc.

Origin Enterprises lost 3.6pc, while Bank of Ireland eased back 3.2pc. There were gains for CPL Resource (1.6pc) and Glanbia (1.1pc)

The Iseq closed at 6,617.57, down 51.01 points or -0.76pc.

After four days of gains, the pan-European STOXX 600 index eased 0.2pc, weighed down by banks and basic resources stocks.

Earnings were the main drivers behind stock moves, with shares in German fragrance and flavour firm Symrise declining 2.1pc after reporting disappointing results.

German utility RWE was the biggest STOXX gainer, however. It jumped nearly 7pc after saying that it might cut its stake in networks and renewables unit Innogy to 51pc. It did not comment on a report that France's Engie was considering a bid for the company. Innogy's shares also rose 4.6pc.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Opec said oil inventories have risen despite a global deal to cut supply and raised its forecast of production in 2017 from outside the group.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Irish Independent