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FTSE rallies and pound falls on robust US jobs data

FTSE gains ground in afternoon trading on better-than-expected jobs report. Plus: our Accumulator table.

 
FTSE rallies and pound falls on robust US jobs data

The FTSE 100 has rallied after robust US jobs data buoyed investor sentiment, while the dollar's rally against the pound provided a further boost.

The UK blue-chip index closed 37 points, or 0.5%, higher at 7,5112, gaining ground in afternoon trading after the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 209,000 jobs were created in July, ahead of expectations.

That sparked a rally in the dollar, leaving the pound 0.8% lower against the greenback at $1.304. A weaker pound tends to boost the FTSE 100, whose members rely on overseas markets for around three-quarters of their earnings.

'Sterling suffered at the hands of the US dollar as traders were quick to sell the currency pair in light of the data,' said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

'This is the second day in a row the pound had a big sell-off against the US dollar, as the dovish update from the Bank of England prompted traders to sell sterling.'

Merlin Entertainments (MERL) led the way on the FTSE 100, up 5.8% at 489.4p as the Alton Towers and Madam Tussauds owner said full-year profits were likely to hit expectations, despite the impact of the UK terror attacks.

House builders remained mired at the bottom of the index following reports the government could end the Help to Buy Scheme early, while Hargreaves Lansdown (HRGV) languished after cancelling its special dividend in light of tighter capital requirements from the regulator.

To see our exclusive Accumulator data table, which tells the story of the week in markets, click here.

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