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FTSE 100 Slides As Pound Climbs

U.K. stocks fell slightly on Friday as a rise in the pound weighed on exporters. Financials gained ground, helping limit the downside in the broader market.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 17 points, or 0.23 percent, at 7,327 after closing up 0.1 percent the previous day.

AstraZeneca dropped 1 percent, Diageo declined 2.7 percent and British American Tobacco tumbled as much as 3 percent as the pound sterling pushed higher against all currencies on speculation the British government could be softening its red lines on the so-called Northern Irish backstop.

Lender Lloyds Bank climbed 2.3 percent and Barclays soared 3.2 percent as Brexit concerns ease. Housebuilder Barratt Developments advanced 2.8 percent and Taylor Wimpey gained 2.9 percent.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore allied 2-3 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump said he could consider an interim trade deal with China ahead of high-level negotiations in October.

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