Business

FTSE 100 and pound edge lower

Trader in London Image copyright AFP

UK shares edged lower as investors digested various trading updates, while the pound fell back to below $1.32.

By the close, the FTSE 100 was down 10.29 points at 6,670.40 while the FTSE 250 fell 56.05 points to 16,751.02.

Shares in Burberry rose 6.3% despite the fashion group reporting a dip in underlying sales and flat retail revenues.

However, property shares reversed some of the gains the sector has seen over the past couple of days.

Barratt Developments dropped 2.1% after the housebuilder said it might slow its rate of house construction, given the expected post-Brexit slowdown.

The news overshadowed Barratt's upbeat profit forecast, with full-year pre-tax profits expected to rise by about 20% to £680m.

Other housebuilders also saw their shares fall, with Berkeley Group down 2.7%.

Shares in Poundland jumped more than 12.5% after the discount retailer agreed to be bought by South Africa's Steinhoff International.

On the currency markets, the pound continued to add to the gains made over the past couple of days.

Against the dollar, the pound rose to $1.3340 at one point before slipping back to $1.3197. Sterling fell 0.8% against the euro to €1.1878.

Earlier in the week, the pound enjoyed a lift after the news that Theresa May is to become prime minister, removing the prospect of a prolonged leadership contest in the Conservative party.

But even then, sterling still remained well below the level of $1.50 that it hit shortly before the result of the referendum became clear.