IMF raises growth forecast for all advanced economies except UK

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The pound has made gains despite a flurry of gloomy economic reports, while advances among bank stocks helped the wider market push higher

Official figures showing disappointing trade data, but a stronger-than-expected performance from the manufacturing sector, saw the pound make strong gains against the US dollar and hold firm against the euro.

Sterling lifted 0.6% to 1.32 US dollars and was flat at 1.12 euros.

Lere 3cThe FTSE 100 Index closed the session 30.4 points higher at 7538.3 thanks to increases among banking stocks after a broker upgrade citing hopes of a softer Brexit.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was around 30 points higher at the time of close in London, having earlier hit a fresh all time high.

In London, the focus was on a string of economic reports, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and the…

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