It comes after a lacklustre day for the FTSE 100 index, when stocks dipped slightly yesterday with nine points wiped off. However, it remained just above the 6,000 level after stocks rallied earlier in the week.

At opening this morning the London index sits at 6,003.

A weakened pound due to uncertainties over Brexit has helped boos the market.

The pound is at its lowest value against the euro in six months.

As tensions continue to boil over today, the pound may weaken further and help boost investment in FTSE 100 firms.

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7.10am update: ONS reports positive news

The UK economy’s GDP jumped 6.6% in July, the ONS has announced. 

However, the economy is still 11.6% smaller than it was in February before the coronavirus outbreak hit the UK. 

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “While it has continued steadily on the path towards recovery, the UK economy still has to make up nearly half of the GDP lost since the start of the pandemic.

“Education grew strongly as some children returned to school, while pubs, campsites and hairdressers all saw notable improvements. Car sales exceeded pre-crisis levels for the first time with showrooms having a particularly busy time.

“All areas of manufacturing, particularly distillers and car makers, saw improvements, while housebuilding also continued to recover. However, both production and construction remain well below previous levels.”

6.05am update: Re-cap of Thursday’s trading

British stock indexes closed lower on Thursday as disagreements over Brexit terms between Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government and the European Union sowed concern about a messy British departure.

The mid-cap FTSE 250, considered a barometer of Brexit sentiment, fell 0.1% with furnishing retailer Dunelm dragging the most on a decline in its annual profit.

The domestically-focussed index was still reeling from losses after surging COVID-19 cases sparked new curbs on social activity in England, hitting shares of restaurant and pub firms.

Talks between Britain and the European Union on the relationship after the Brexit transition period concludes at the end of this year, which came to the forefront this week, hit a snag after Johnson’s government refused to scrap a plan that could break their exit treaty.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index shed 0.2% as gains in consumer discretionary stocks were offset by losses in healthcare and consumer staples.



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