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FTSE 100 Drifts Lower As Brexit Talks Enter Final Day

U.K. stocks edged lower on Wednesday and the pound dropped as doubts grew over the prospects of a Brexit deal.

Brexit talks are at an impasse as EU and U.K. officials resume Brexit talks later today ahead of a summit of EU leaders on Thursday.

"The fate of Brexit negotiations depend on London moving with technical negotiations having now reached an impasse," Bloomberg reported today, citing sources familiar with talks. The report claims that the negotiations could collapse amid Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) pushback to the proposed deal.

Meanwhile, U.K. consumer price inflation held steady in September and factory gate price inflation was the weakest in three years, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed.

Consumer prices advanced 1.7 percent year-on-year, the same pace of growth as seen in August. The rate was forecast to rise to 1.8 percent.

Output price inflation eased 1.2 percent in September from 1.7 percent in August. The rate was the lowest since September 2016 and below the forecast of 1.3 percent.

In a separate communique, the ONS showed that average house prices in the U.K increased 1.3 percent in the year to August, up from 0.8 percent in July.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 24 points, or 0.33 percent, at 7,188 after finishing marginally lower the previous day.

Rio Tinto dropped 2 percent after the miner cut its bauxite and alumina production forecast for the year.

ASOS shares soared 19 percent. The online retailer said the Group's financial and operating performance has been disappointing during the year to 31 August 2019. Profit before tax declined 68 percent due to substantial transition and restructuring costs.

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