U.K.’s FTSE 100 Slumps Most Since Brexit-Vote Aftermath on May

Pound Soars After Theresa May’s Brexit Speech

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index tumbled the most since a slump in June spurred by the Brexit vote, as a surge in the pound following Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech weighed on exporters.

The FTSE 100 Index, whose members get about three-quarters of their revenue overseas, fell 1.5 percent at the close. May pledged to take Britain out of the European Union while staying inside parts of the customs union, saying the U.K. parliament will get a vote on the deal before it is implemented. The FTSE 250 Index of mid-cap shares with more domestic revenue exposure dropped 0.4 percent.

While the pound -- set for its biggest jump since 2008 -- dragged the FTSE 100 lower on Tuesday, it has borne the brunt of investor worry since the U.K. referendum. The gauge of megacaps has largely benefited from weaker sterling, after tumbling in the two days following the Brexit vote last June.

  • Investors are betting U.K. stocks -- the FTSE 100 in particular -- will remain attractive throughout 2017. Analysts forecast profit at its members will rise 27 percent in 2017, with commodity producers accounting for most of the upside.
  • The FTSE Smallcap Index dropped 0.2 percent on Tuesday, halving earlier declines.
  • The FTSE 100 posted its first back-to-back losses in more than a month, after ending a record streak of 14 straight gains and 12 all-time highs last week.
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