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FTSE 100 Drifts Lower As Pound Hits Multi-month Highs

U.K. stocks edged lower on Thursday, with exporters suffering losses as the pound continued to rise on expectations that next week's general election will not result in a hung parliament.

The pound hit a 2-1/2-year peak against the euro and a seven-month high against the dollar as polls suggested that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party would win a majority in next week's general election.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 13 points, or 0.18 percent, at 7,175 after closing up 0.4 percent on Wednesday.

Asia-focused HSBC Holdings shed 0.7 percent while miners BHP and Anglo American were down around half a percent.

Fund manager M&G Investments slumped 4 percent after the company suspended trading in the shares in its £2.54bn (€3bn) property portfolio, citing the impact of Brexit uncertainty.

DS Smith, a packaging company, fell 2.4 percent despite reporting record group profitability and return on sales.

Publishing firm Daily Mail & General Trust rallied 4.3 percent after it reported a 19 percent increase in underlying adjusted pre-tax profit for the 12 months to 30 September.

IG Group Holdings lost 2.6 percent after saying it expects lower half-year net trading revenue.

In economic releases, U.K. car sales declined in November as weak business and consumer confidence along with economic uncertainty weighed on demand, data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed.

New car registrations decreased 1.3 percent on a yearly basis to 156,621 units in November.

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