FTSE 100 slides but remains above 7,400 level

The blue-chip index was dragged lower by a stronger pound, after YouGov poll shows Tories commanding a strong lead, though the Footsie managed to stay above the 7,400 support level.

The FTSE 100 fell below 7,400 in early trading after sterling rallied following a poll that showed the Conservative Party had a strong lead ahead of the General Election on December 12.

The blue-chip index slid to 7,390, driven lower by a stronger pound and several ex-dividend stocks taking their toll. However, the FTSE 100 rebounded back above the 7,400 support level later in the session.

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GBP/EUR hits six-month high after poll shows Tory’s leading

The pound hit a six-month high against the euro early on Thursday, trading at 1.1757.

Sterling’s gains were driven by a recent poll that showed the Tories had a commanding lead heading into the General Election

The YouGov poll, released on Wednesday night, predicted the Tories would secure a majority of 359, representing a 41 seat increase on the 318 seats they secured in the last election back in 2017.

Trump endorses Hong Kong protestors, hurting trade relations

The FTSE 100 was also weighed down by US President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Hong Kong protestors, with his actions threatening to derail progress in trade talks with Beijing.

Trump signed two congressional bills overnight, with one calling for Hong Kong’s special trade status with the US to be reviewed each year by the State Department, while the other banned the export of crowd-control munitions like rubber bullets and tear gas to police in Hong Kong.

‘I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong,’ Trump said in a statement.

‘They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.’

Officials in China reacted negatively to the news, telling US Ambassador Terry Branstad on Thursday that the backing Hong Kong protestors represents a ‘severe interference’ in China’s affairs.

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