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FTSE 100 boosted by miners but pound falls on EU polls

Market trader (file picture) Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): The pound fell after opinion polls suggested support for the UK leaving the EU was growing, but rising mining stocks lifted the FTSE.

A number of opinion polls published over the weekend and on Monday put the Leave campaign ahead of Remain.

Sterling hit a three-week low against the dollar in early trade, before recovering.

At approximately 1700 BST it was down 0.41% at $1.4456. Against the euro, it fell 0.26% to €1.2731.

"The polls are likely to make people rather uneasy and we can see that quite clearly today in the pound," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.

On the stock market, the FTSE 100 index rose 63.77 points, or 1%, to 6,273.4, with the gains driven mainly by the mining sector. Shares in Anglo American jumped 11% and Glencore was 6.2% higher.

Mining shares were lifted by rising metal prices, which were boosted by the fall in the value of the dollar following Friday's weaker-than-expected US jobs figures.

The weak data has pushed back expectations of when the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates.

Shares in Easyjet fell 1% after the airline released passenger figures for May. The airline said its load factor - a measure of how full its aircraft are - fell slightly to 91.5% from 91.6% a year earlier.

Easyjet said 173 flights were cancelled last month when services were disrupted by French air traffic control strikes.