- The FTSE 100 was held back by continued strength in the pound as European equities rebounded from a weaker performance yesterday.

Sterling rose on reports the DUP may prop up Prime Minister Theresa May's tweaked Brexit deal next week, but this was bad for the FTSE 100 as it impacts the relative value of its constituents' overseas earnings.

By the close, the blue-chip index was 1% lower at 6,809.

In the US, investors focused on corporate results from the likes of Starbucks instead of the US-China trade war as shares advanced.

Brent crude oil was up 0.7% at $61.52 per barrel and copper climbed 1.7% to $2.72 per pound.


Vodafone shed 4.9% to 137p as its revenue slipped 6.8% in the third quarter, though the telecom giant also reiterated its annual earnings guidance.

Pub group Fuller Smith & Turner jumped 15.5% to £10.50 on news it had agreed to sell its entire beer business to Asahi Europe for £250m. The company also revealed a strong sales performance over the Christmas and New Year period.

Drug developer Indivior fell 2.4% to 111.2p after it announced that a court had temporarily blocked rival Alvogen Pine Brook from selling a generic version of its opioid addiction treatments -- though only until 7 February.

Drinks maker AG Barr fell 4.5% to 762p, even as it forecast a 5% rise in annual revenue buoyed by market share gains.

Semiconductor wafer manufacturer IQE advanced 0.7% to 75p as it warned of flat annual revenue, lower earnings and a £4.5m write-down relating to unlet space at a Singapore facility.


Women's fashion retailer Bonmarche rose 3% to 38.1p despite it reporting an 8.1% slump in sales over the festive period -- that at least met its own previously-downgraded expectations.

Online retailer Findel advanced 5% to 210p on announcing that it expected pre-tax profit to come in toward the upper end of market expectations amid record sales in the weeks leading up to Black Friday.

Software supplier Scisys gained 5.2% to 182p after it said it expected to 'comfortably' meet market expectations for both its annual revenue and adjusted operating profit.

Pan African Resources added 9.3% to 10p, despite an underground mine closure in South Africa sending first-half gold production down 5%. Production from continuing operations, however, jumped 54%.

Nanomaterial manufacturer Nanoco gained 3.1% to 45p on news it had signed a contract extension to deliver additional services and materials to an undisclosed US company.

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