- Stronger than expected UK growth boosted the pound and weakened the dollar, which made the majority of FTSE 100's overseas earners less appealing to investors.

The FTSE 100 fell 1.1% to 7,444.76 as the pound moved 0.9% higher against the dollar at $1.325.

Brent crude oil was broadly unmoved at $58.31 per barrel. Copper and gold cheapened 0.5% to $3.17 per pound and 0.3% to $1,271 per ounce.

The mining sector and utility stocks were among the casualties, led lower by Antofagasta (ANTO) and SSE (SSE), down 4.3% to 986p and 2.7% to £13.48.

The UK economy grew by 0.4% between July and September, up from 0.3% growth in the previous quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Elsewhere, Lloyds (LLOY) kicked off results in the banking sector. It reported a better than anticipated 9% jump in third quarter underlying pre-tax profit, driven by a decline in one-off costs and misconduct charges.

The shares retreated 1.5% to 66.3p as investors didn't like comment from Lloyds on increasing pressure from regulators regarding the amount of capital it needs to hold.


In the US, the markets took a turn for the worse as investors reacted to the latest results.

Restaurant chain Chipotle plummeted 14.8% on lower than anticipated sales and less store openings in 2018, which helped drive the S&P 500 0.5% lower to 2,555 on Wednesday.

Big Mac seller McDonald's was one of the biggest risers on the Dow Jones on stronger sales in its established restaurants. This sparked a 1% jump in the shares and helped limit losses for the index to 0.3% at 23,367.


Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) reported sales for its asthma products Seretide/Advair continued to fall in the three months to 30 September, while revenue growth in its vaccines division was flat. Investors were disappointed with the results released at midday, causing the shares to drop 5.5% to £14.29.

Electrical power generation firm Drax (DRX) agreed to sell wood pellets distributor Billington Bioenergy to Aggregated Micro Power Holdings for £2m. The stock slumped 3.9% to 275.8p.

Copper producer Antofagasta struggled on weaker than expected guidance for 2018.

Metro Bank (MTRO) dipped 0.9% to £36.09 despite strong results as the company reported a 77% increase in third quarter profit, driven by higher lending and deposit volumes.

Retail bank Virgin Money (VM.) confirmed press speculation that it was talking to Irene Dorner to potentially appoint her as chairman. Its shares were flat at 297.4p.

Cigarette seller British American Tobacco (BATS) highlighted a currency tailwind of 5.5% on its earnings per share and said it would update analysts and investors today at a special event on its next generation products.


Motor retailer Pendragon (PDG) accelerated 5.4% to 23.4p after chief executive Trevor Finn hiked his stake by buying £445,000 and non-executive chairman Chris Chambers bought £117,249 of shares. Both took action following Monday's profit warning.

Photobooth operator Photo-Me International (PHTM) failed to click with the market despite sales rising 11.2% in the five months to 30 September. Its shares only managed to rise 2.2% to 175p perhaps because analysts didn't see any reason to upgrade their earnings forecasts.

On AIM, cyber security firm Defenx (DFX) warned it was expecting a full year loss due to a delay in a small number of high value contracts. Over two-fifths of the company's value was wiped off, leaving the share price struggling at 53p.

Elsewhere, regulatory reporting solutions provider Lombard Risk Management (LRM) also had a tough time after its pre-tax losses widened on a challenging first half. Sales in the half year to 30 September were down 16.4% to £12.7m after a temporary drop in services revenue and delays in contract signings, causing the stock to crash 31.4% to 7.3p.

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