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UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 retreats on stronger pound; Dunelm shines on dividend plans

Published Feb 10, 2021 10:24 Updated Feb 10, 2021 18:12
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Dunelm gains on plans to resume dividend payouts
* Insurer Lancashire down despite surprise profit
* Travel stocks lead sectoral declines
* FTSE 100 down 0.1%, FTSE 250 off 0.6%

(Updates to market close)
By Shivani Kumaresan
Feb 10 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 slipped on Wednesday,
as a stronger pound pressured exporters, while homeware retailer
Dunelm gained after resuming dividends and posting a higher
first-half profit.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE was down 0.1%, as sterling
edged up against the dollar, breaking above $1.38 and touching
its highest level in almost three years as Britain's speedy
coronavirus inoculation programme supported the currency.
Consumer stocks such as Compass Group CPG.L , Ocado Group
OCDO.L and Diageo Plc DGE.L were the biggest drag on the
index, falling between 1% and 7%.
"Looks like it has turned into a bit of a more broadbased
selloff, although still only modest, with European markets
leading the way to the downside," said Chris Beauchamp, chief
market analyst at IG.
The mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC , fell 0.6% to snap a
seven-day winning streak, partly weighed down by a 3.7% decline
for homebuilder Redrow RDW.L , even as it reported a higher
first-half profit. A raft of global stimulus has helped the FTSE 100 rebound
nearly 34% from a coronavirus-led crash in March 2020, but the
index is still about 15% below its highest level last year at a
time when the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 .SPX is scaling record
highs.
Travel and leisure stocks .FTNMX5750 led declines among
FTSE subsectors after transport minister Grant Shapps asked
British people not to book holidays domestically or abroad until
more is known about the success of Britain's COVID-19
vaccination programme. The Bank of England told insurers not to expect any big
reduction in capital requirements after Brexit, adding that more
capital could be "part of the answer" to meeting a 1.7 billion
pound bill for COVID-19 claims. In company news, homeware retailer Dunelm Group DNLM.L
rose 6.1% on the mip-cap index after reporting a higher
first-half profit on strong online demand. Insurer Lancashire LRE.L fell 6.6% even after posting a
surprise profit for the year.

UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 retreats on stronger pound; Dunelm shines on dividend plans
 

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