Weaker pound pushes FTSE 100 higher; PMI data eyed

© Reuters.

(Reuters) – London’s rose on Wednesday for the second consecutive session as the largely export-focussed index benefited from a weaker pound following fresh COVID-19 curbs in the UK.

The FTSE 100 gained 0.8%, with the pound hovering near its two-month low. The UK government unveiled long-lasting restrictions to tackle a second wave of coronavirus infections that threaten to derail a fragile recovery in economic activity.

Investors are also awaiting PMI data to be released later in the day for clues on how the economy performed in September.

The mid-cap index () rose 1.0% with healthcare sector stocks <.ftnmx4350> leading gains.

Beauty products maker PZ Cussons Plc (L:) fell 1.2% despite posting a 23% rise in first-quarter revenue on higher sales of hand wash, sanitiser gels and soaps.

SSP Group (L:), the owner of Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza, rose 4.2% after pointing to an improvement in weekly sales even as it forecast an 86% drop in second-half sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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