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FTSE 100 falls as stronger pound, oil stocks weigh | Reuters

London’s FTSE 100 fell on Tuesday, dragged lower by losses in export-oriented stocks and energy firms, while data showed Britain’s economy grew in February as companies got ready for the lifting of a third coronavirus lockdown.

The blue-chip index edged down 0.1%, with shares of large dollar-earning consumer staples companies Unilever , Diageo Plc, and British American Tobacco falling between 0.3% and 0.6% on a slightly stronger pound.

Miners Rio Tinto, CRH Plc and Antofagasta Plc rose between 0.8% and 2.1%.

The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index traded flat, with engineer Babcock International Group surging 14.8% to the top of index as it unveiled a restructuring plan after flagging a 1.7 billion pounds ($2.34 billion) charge on profitability review of its contracts.

Official data showed Britain’s economy grew by 0.4% in February from January, while the fall in gross domestic product in January was not as severe as previously estimated, down by 2.2% compared with the initial reading of a 2.9% drop. Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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