Wednesday market close: Index edges up ahead of US tax news

Trading screens in London. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Trading screens in London. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

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The FTSE 100 edged higher and the pound was mixed as investors awaited details of Donald Trump’s plans for a massive US corporate tax cut.

London’s blue chip index ended the day up 13.08 points at 7,288.72, while the FTSE 250 closed at a fresh record high at 19,678.82 points, up 0.49 per cent on the day.

It comes after Trump’s treasury secretary confirmed the US administration will be calling for a massive cut in the corporate tax rate down from 35 per cent to 15 per cent.

“This afternoon’s comments from US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin don’t appear to add too much detail to what we already know,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK said.

“He went on to say that further principles would be laid out later today, which suggests that we’ll get an aspiration list and that anything tangible will have to wait until much later in the year, meaning that we’re not really that much better off than we were 24 hours ago in terms of detail.”

London Stock Exchange Group shares rose 41p to close at 3,348p, after it reported a 17 per cent rise in first quarter profit and said it was “exploring” new investments just a month after the collapse of the Deutsche Borse merger. Standard Chartered shares jumped 29.2p to 757.3p after it cheered “good progress” in its turnaround efforts as first quarter pre-tax profits nearly doubled. Lloyds Banking Group rose 0.46p to 67.41p despite news it will begin making compensation offers to victims of fraud from former HBOS staff.

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