Shares in London close higher

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FTSE 100 Index

Last Updated at 21 Mar 2018, 09:57 GMT *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
value change %
7024.32 -

Top winner and loser

London Stock Exchange Group

4084.00 p +


309.30 p -
value change %

FTSE 250 Index

19640.29 -

FTSE 350 Index

3932.53 -

FTSE All Share Index

3888.62 -

FTSE Techmark Index

4236.74 -

(Close): The FTSE 100 closed with a modest gain, but outside the main index shares in Thorntons dived after it issued a profit alert.

Thorntons sank 21% after the chocolate maker said this year's profits would be below last year's.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index finished 21 points higher at 6,598.18.

However, the index gave up some of its earlier gains after the UK current account deficit rose to £27bn, or 6% of GDP, in the third quarter.

The size of the current account deficit, which is the gap between exports and imports, surprised many economists.

Also, official figures also revised down the annual rate of GDP growth in the third quarter to 2.6% from 3%.

That data helped undermine the pound which fell by almost a cent against the dollar to $1.55150.

The pound was a touch lower against the euro at €1.27440.

"GDP is just kind of an early marker for the problems the pound may face next year, although the market is very thin before Christmas," said Simon Derrick, head of currency research at Bank of New York Mellon in London.

On the stock market, supermarket shares were in demand, with Tesco up 1.7% and Morrisons 2.5% higher.