U.K. Exporters Spur FTSE 100 Gain as Brexit Update Weakens Pound

  • Henderson surges after agreeing to buy Janus Capital
  • FTSE 100 rises to highest since May 2015, nearing record

European Stocks Gain Despite Paring Early Advance

Britain’s megacaps rose to their highest level in more than 16 months as a weaker pound boosted exporters after Prime Minister Theresa May said the country will begin to exit the European Union next year.

Companies that get most of their revenue outside the U.K. contributed the most to gains in the FTSE 100 Index: HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and British American Tobacco Plc all advanced at least 1 percent. The pound approached a three-decade low reached in the days after the Brexit vote, as May said she’ll begin the U.K.’s process of EU withdrawal in the first quarter of 2017.

The FTSE 100 rose 1.2 percent to 6,983.52 at the close, just 1.7 percent away from a record reached in April 2015. It fell 0.3 percent on Friday, trimming its fourth straight monthly gain. The benchmark entered the final three months of the year after a rally in commodities sent it to its best quarterly advance since 2013. The FTSE 250 Index of midcaps added 1.8 percent today.

Among other shares active on corporate news, Henderson Group Plc surged 17 percent after agreeing to buy Janus Capital Group Inc. to create a $320 billion money manager. Peers Aberdeen Asset Management Plc and Jupiter Fund Management Plc advanced 5 percent or more.

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