UPDATE 4-UK markets find firmer footing as May set to be PM, questions remain

lunes 11 de julio de 2016 11:39 GYT

(Updates prices, stock markets close)

By Anirban Nag and John Geddie

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - The British pound rose above $1.30 and stocks struck 11-month highs on Monday as Theresa May looked set to be confirmed as prime minister after her remaining rival withdrew from the contest.

While Andrea Leadsom's exit removes the need for a drawn-out leadership contest, investors remain uncertain about May's approach to negotiating Britain's exit from the European Union and whether she will call a general election to cement her authority.

Sterling rose to the day's high of $1.3020, having traded at $1.2865 before reports that Leadsom might withdraw earlier on Monday. It was last trading at $1.3010, 0.45 percent higher on the day, boosted by Prime Minister David Cameron's comments that he will resign on Wednesday, much earlier than planned, for May to takeover the same day.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended over 1 percent at its highest level since August 2014, led by housebuilders, which had fallen sharply on expectations of slower growth.

The more domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 finished over 3 percent. British 10-year gilt yields rose marginally off a record low, pulling other euro zone bond yields a touch higher.

"Things are a bit clearer - we know who the next prime minister is going to be," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

"We will get nonsense about a general election but that's the last thing the country needs after the uncertainty created by the referendum."   Continuación...