FTSE 100 slides as sterling strengthens

Market trader (file picture) Image copyright Getty Images

The UK stock market reversed early gains, to close the day with the FTSE 100 share index down 4.2 points at 7369.52.

Miners were among the gainers, led by a 2.9% rise for Chile-based copper miner Antofagasta.

The main loser was private hospital group Mediclinic, whose shares were down 3%.

The pound rose against the dollar and the euro as tension eased following the triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday.

The pound closed the day 0.45% higher against the dollar at $1.2492, while against the euro it was up 0.82% at the close at 1.16470 euros.

Morrisons shares rose 2.15% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded its rating to "buy" from "underperform".

SSE fell 1.55% after the energy firm said operating profits for 2016-17 at its retail unit were expected to fall.

Shares in Marks and Spencer were down 1.22% on Thursday after UBS cut its rating on the retailer to neutral.

"Stocks are still in a bit of a holding pattern with traders lacking a bit of conviction," said Jasper Lawler at London Capital Group.

In the FTSE 250, shares in AO World fell at first after the household appliance retailer said it was raising £50m through a share placing in order to fund expansion.

However, the shares recovered as the morning progressed, and stood 2.25% higher at 141p by the end of the day.