FTSE 100 Rises As Pound Drops

U.K. stocks rose on Thursday, with export-focused shares benefiting from a weakening pound after Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party announced it cannot support Boris Johnson's current Brexit plan in its current form.

"As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues, and there is a lack of clarity on VAT (value-added tax)," the DUP said in a brief statement on Twitter.

That stoked doubts over whether Johnson will be able to win the British parliament's approval for any deal.

Meanwhile, U.K. retail sales remained flat in September, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

Retail sales volume, including auto fuel, was unchanged from the previous month, following a 0.3 percent drop in August. Sales were forecast to fall 0.2 percent.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 46 points, or 0.65 percent, at 7,214 after declining 0.6 percent on Thursday.

Rathbone Brothers shares slumped 6 percent. The provider of investment and wealth management services reported that total net inflows were 0.1 billion pounds in the third quarter, down from last year's 7.0 billion pounds, largely reflecting the acquisition of Speirs & Jeffrey.

Moneysupermarket.com Group plunged 10 percent after revenue growth in the third quarter slowed.

WH Smith soared 10 percent after it reached an agreement to acquire Marshall Retail Group, a U.S. travel retailer, for $400 million on a cash and debt-free basis.

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