Weak pound pushes FTSE higher

The FTSE 100 closed 0.4% higher at 7,237 as sterling weakness lifted dollar earners.

Tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BATS) was one of the biggest risers as it rallied 1.7% to £46.50.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil tumbled 3% lower to $52.36 and $55.41 per barrel, respectively.

Gold glittered at $1,177 per ounce and copper cheapened 0.6% to $5,555 per tonne.


British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) fell into negative territory due to slower passenger growth in December.

Outsourcer Babcock International (BAB) nudged 1.8% lower as Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating to 'hold'.

The government's stake in Lloyds (LLOY) fell below 6% after it sold 700 million shares late on Friday. Shares traded 1% lower at 65.2p.


Iron ore producer Ferrexpo (FXPO) made solid gains after reporting record sales volumes in 2016 and a transformation of its balance sheet with $196m worth of debt retired.

Bookmaker William Hill (WMH) declined 2% as it warned 2016 operating profit will be at the bottom end of expectations due to unfavourable football and horseracing results in December.

Oil services business Petrofac (PFC) signed a $600m contract on a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) extraction project in southern Oman.

Shares in self-storage provider Safestyle (SFE) remained flat despite like-for-like revenue climbing 8.1% and a 21% hike in its final dividend to 8p.


Investors are hopeful that Parallel Media (PAA) will acquire a new business, causing the shares price to catapult 103% to 31p. The market is keen to buy in despite the company's statement on 30 December and an update that there were no material developments made by the firm.

Shopping centre marketing specialist SpaceandPeople (SAL) plummeted 19% to 17.8p. Trading in its key Christmas period fell short of expectations, which lead to speculation of a full year loss of around £650,000.

Metals exploration company Orogen (ORE) was 11% lower as its drilling programme on Galileo Resources' Silverton property failed to identify new lithology.

Point-of-care business EKF Diagnostics (EKF) pleased investors as it revealed full year performance will exceed its revised market expectations, triggering a 6.6% rise in its share price to 18.2p.

Veterinary medicines provider Animalcare Group (ANCR) received a boost on an upbeat trading update that revealed it is expecting to beat current expectations due to revenue growth.

AIM-listed Plexus (POS) agreed a four-year framework agreement to supply Centrica Norway with surface wellhead and mudline equipment services for jack up exploration wells in the North Sea.

Investors were relieved when clean water tech company HaloSource (HALO) announced its largest Chinese customer resumed shipments of in-home devices. HaloSource's revenue last year was hit by a halt in shipments. The stock jumped 9% to 1.5p.

Smart tech provider RedstoneConnect (REDS) was 7.7% higher on expectations that adjusted EBITDA to 31 January 2017 will be at the upper end of expectations.