London Markets: FTSE 100 flat as pound firms up; mining stocks provide support

The FTSE 100 struggled to remain in the black on Friday, as higher commodity stocks lifted the market, but a stronger pound kept gains for the index in check.

What are markets doing?

The FTSE 100

UKX, +0.10%

 added 0.1% to 6,826.81, after finishing down 0.35% on Thursday. London’s softer session was in contrast to stronger gains across Europe. For the week, the FTSE is looking at a loss of 2%.

What’s driving the market?

The British pound

GBPUSD, +0.1684%

firmed up after the Sun reported that the DUP have privately decided to back May’s Plan B Brexit deal, after she strengthens the proposal next week. Even as it pared earlier, stronger gains, sterling rose to $1.3104 from $1.3065 late in New York on Thursday. A stronger pound tends to weigh on the FTSE 100, which houses many exporters who get a chunk of their revenue from foreign companies.

The Queen has reportedly sent a message to U.K. lawmakers encouraging them to seek common ground and grasp the big picture to resolve the Brexit crisis, Reuters reported.

The new chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

GS, +0.46%

), David Solomon, also had a message for U.K. parliament—a messy Brexit will impact the bank’s investment decisions in the U.K.

What stock are active?

Heavyweight mining stocks were among the FTSE 100 top gainers on Friday, Antofagasta PLC

ANTO, +2.06%

 gained 2%, Glencore PLC

GLEN, +2.67%

 and Fresnillo

FRES, +3.30%

rose around 3% and BHP Group

BHP, +1.75%

gained close to 2%.

Vodafone Group PLC

VOD, -2.92%

 lost nearly 3%, after reporting a fall in revenue.

Meanwhile, Rentokil Initial PLC

RTO, -0.57%

lost 0.8%, after the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority ordered the company to sell several large supply contracts.

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