FTSE 100 dips ahead of election

Traders in London Image copyright AFP

The FTSE 100 closed slightly lower on the last day of campaigning before the general election.

At the end of Wednesday's trading, the FTSE 100 was down 0.62% or 46.33 points at 7,478.62.

Banking stocks were among the top risers, with Lloyds Banking Group up 1.65% and RBS adding 1.35%.

Analysts said that struggling Spanish bank Banco Popular's rescue by Santander had given the overall banking sector a boost.

On the downside, pharmaceutical companies tumbled. Shire was the biggest faller on the 100-share index, dropping 3.2%.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca lost 1% after its announcement that it had sold the rights for its migraine drug Zomig for $302m.

Colin McLean, manager of the UK growth fund at SVM Asset Management, said uncertainty over the outcome of the election so far appeared to be having little impact on investors.

"The bigger picture is that international stocks have been doing less well," he said.

"Quite a lot of what drove markets last year has gone into reverse over the last six months and investors are looking again at some of the beneficiaries of lower growth and deflation.

"That probably drives investors a little bit more than the election," he said.

On the currency markets, the pound rose slightly against the dollar, adding 0.33% to $1.2953. It rose 0.61% against the euro to 1.1517 euros.