UPDATE: U.K. stocks on track to break 5-day win streak after mixed data
By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
Tesco falls after trading update
U.K. stocks edged lower on Wednesday, on track to break a five-day winning run after a mixed gauge on the country's services sector capped off a disappointing September round of purchasing managers index readings.
The FTSE 100 index was down 0.1% at 7,461.34, but was swinging between small gains and losses.
Meanwhile, the pound rose to $1.3285 from $1.3239 late Tuesday in New York, after the services purchasing managers index for September (https://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/6e659475e4c24f8eb1733532532cbd04) rose to 53.6 from an 11-month low of 53.2 in August.
Sterling has been hit hard in recent days, falling to a three-week low against the dollar on Tuesday after the construction purchasing managers index missed forecast by a wide mark and indicated the sector is contracting. The manufacturing PMI out on Monday also missed forecasts.
"After two days of dismal PMIs this [services] data should have been a cause for celebration for sterling; instead the currency rose just 0.2% against the dollar and 0.1% against the euro, barely taking the edge off the sharp losses it has incurred since last Friday," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, in a note.
"The reason? Well look beyond that headline services surprise and some of the sector details look pretty grim, namely the fact that new business growth is at a Brexit-spooked (what else?) 13-month low while input costs have climbed to a 7-month high," he said.