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FTSE rebounds from four-month low as pound falters

FTSE rebounds from four-month low as pound falters
 

The FTSE 100 has recovered some ground from last week's sell-off, gaining some relief from the pound's fall against the dollar.

The UK blue-chip index rose 26 points, or 0.4%, to 7,242, edging off a four-month low reached last week as the strong pound weighed on companies' overseas earnings.

It was helped by a fall in the pound, which edged 0.4% lower against the dollar to $1.354, following last week's rally to its highest level since the day after the Brexit vote.

Engineering group GKN (GKN) was the biggest riser on the index, up 3% at 348.9p after an upgrade from analysts at Exane BNP Paribas to 'neutral' from 'underperform'.

BAE Systems (BAES) was close behind, 2.8% higher at 612.5p after Qatar signed a deal to buy 24 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from the defence company.

'We believe the market was not expecting a Qatar order for Eurofighter considering its previous orders for Rafales and F-15 military jets,' said Celine Fornaro, analyst at UBS.

'Furthermore we believe the market could now allocate a higher probability for further orders from new / existing customers going forward.'

On the FTSE 250, Esure (ESUR) was the biggest riser, up 6.1% at 278.7p after the Sunday Times reported its biggest shareholder, Peter Wood, was looking to sell his 30.8% stake, which would trigger a bid for the whole business.

Hiscox (HSX) was among the fallers, down 2.7% at £12.17 as the underwriter said it estimated exposure to $150 million (£111 million) of claims from hurricane Harvey.

The news also knocked shares in peer Lancashire (LRE), down 1.5% at 643.5p.

Among 'small cap' stocks, Interserve (IRV) regained some ground from last week's share price crash, as the embattled support services and construction company announced Mark Whiteling, former head of finance at Premier Farnell, as its new finance chief.

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