UPDATE: FTSE 100 ends day, quarter higher as pound weakens
By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
London index, however, marks a monthly loss
U.K. stocks ended Friday firmly higher, with pound weakness providing a runway for the blue-chips gauge, which also booked a weekly and quarterly advance.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index picked up 0.7% at 7,372.76, marking its best daily gain since Sept. 1. For the week, the London index finished up 0.9%. For the month, the benchmark ended off 0.8%, but notched a 0.8% quarterly gain.
The FTSE extended gains Friday as the pound fell below $1.34 after second-quarter gross domestic product was lowered on an annual basis. The Office for National Statistics said its final reading of year-over-year growth came in at 1.5%, down from a previous estimate of 1.7%. Sterling traded at $1.3381 in the afternoon, down from $1.3441 late Thursday in New York.
A stronger pound can hurt shares of multinational companies on the FTSE 100, as revenue that the companies make overseas can be reduced when converted back to sterling.
Among multinationals whose shares were making their way higher Friday was luxury-goods seller Burberry Group PLC (BRBY.LN)(BRBY.LN) as it tacked on 1.6%, Unilever (ULVR.LN) (ULVR.LN) added 1.5% and medical-devices maker Smith & Nephew PLC (SN.LN) bulked up 1.1%.
The pound was on track for a 0.9% weekly slide against the dollar, trimming its monthly gain to around 3.6%. The September gain was largely due to signals from the Bank of England that it's eyeing a potential interest rate increase in coming months. Pound strength in turn has pulled the FTSE 100 toward a September loss of 0.7%, the first monthly loss since June.