European stocks edge up as London hits fresh high

 

European stock markets rose Tuesday, with London hitting yet another record high on the weak pound, while oil prices fell further after sharp falls the previous session.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index reached a new intra-day high of 7,284.70 points Tuesday as the pound struggled further on Brexit unease, as well as setting another record close.

"The FTSE 100 extended its winning ways, earning a ninth consecutive record close for the first time in its history," said market analyst Jasper Lawler at London Capital Group.

The pound's weakness is boosting share prices of multi-nationals listed on the benchmark index as they profit from favourable exchange rates.

Miners pushed the index higher, with Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) soaring 7.2 percent and Rio Tinto (Hanover: CRA1.HA - news) winning 5.1 percent.

Supermarkets were robust also, led by Morrisons after a positive trading update.

- 'In the green' -

"Anglo American is leading the way for the latest round of buying in London-listed stocks," said XTB market analyst David Cheetham.

"Other firms in the sector are also in the green with Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton (NYSE: BBL - news) adding to recent gains and benefitting from the pound's latest decline."

Morrisons won 3.6 percent after releasing strong Christmas sales "and announced an upbeat forecast for its annual earnings", Cheetham added.

Shares (Berlin: DI6.BE - news) in Tesco (Frankfurt: 852647 - news) , which releases its sales data on Thursday, jumped by 6 percent.

Elsewhere Tuesday, oil prices struck new two week lows, shedding over one percent after losing almost four percent Monday.

"The crude rally is coming undone because traders got too bullish too fast after the OPEC deal was signed," said Lawler at London Capital Group.

Traders have been fretting over Iraq's commitment to stick to the output cuts agreed by OPEC and other key producers in November.

The deal sent the cost of a barrel surging last month towards $60 on hopes the cuts could reduce a global glut that had sent prices to near 13-year lows last February.

However, Iraq's oil minister said exports from its southern ports reached a record high in December, leading to suspicion it will not stick to the cuts, which came into effect on January 1.

Meanwhile the Turkish lira fell further Tuesday. It recovered only partially from a new low of 3.7871 against the dollar after the central bank intervened to prop up the currency.

Pounded by higher-than-expected inflation and security fears, the lira has been hammered over a warning from ratings agency Moody's that the slew of attacks in the country were likely to weigh on the economy and squeeze the country's banks.

It has lost over 20 percent in value against the dollar over the past three months.

Wall Street drifted higher Tuesday as investors awaited major corporate earnings releases later in the week.

- Key figures around 1630 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,275.47 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.2 percent at 11,583.30 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 4,888.23 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.9 percent at 3,308.12

New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 19,932.30

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 19,301.44 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,161.67 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.8 percent at 22,744.85 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2108 from $1.2158

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0579 from $1.0574

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 115.51 yen from 116.07 yen

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 58 cents at $51.38 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 56 cents at $54.38 per barrel

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