LONDON, April 18 UK stocks fell sharply on Tuesday, with the
bluechip FTSE 100 poised for its sharpest one-day drop since the
aftermath of last year's Brexit referendum, after Prime Minister Theresa May
called for an early election.
The strength in sterling, which rose to levels last seen in December
2016, dented appetite for shares of UK-listed exporters such as mining and oil
stocks which were already on the backfoot even before May's surprise
The FTSE 100's slide on the day left it less than 0.5 percent away from
dipping back into the red for the year.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early election on June 8,
saying she needed to strengthen her hand in divorce talks with the European
Union by shoring up support for her Brexit plan.
The UK midcaps index, which comprises more domestically focused
firms, fell 1.1 percent, retreating from last week's record high. European
shares slipped 1 percent.
BHP Billiton, down nearly 5 percent, was the worst performer on the
FTSE 100 followed by peers Anglo American and Glencore.
Barclays shares fell 3 percent.
(Reporting by Helen Reid and Kit Rees, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)