The FTSE 100 drops as Article 50 triggered

LONDON — The FTSE 100 took a sharp leg lower on Wednesday lunchtime as Article 50 was officially triggered, beginning the official process of Brexit negotiations.

London’s leading index of shares opened slightly higher on Wednesday morning, ahead of the official start of Brexit negotiations later in the day. Article 50 was triggered at 12.30 p.m. BST (8.30 a.m. ET).

The FTSE 100 began slipping dramatically at midday and is down 0.30%, or 22.17 points, to 7.321.25 at just after 12.30 p.m.

Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx, says in an email: “In theory, the triggering of Article 50 shouldn’t have any real effect on the pound or the FTSE. When Theresa May’s handwritten letter is delivered to Donald Tusk at midday nothing surprising will happen; it is just the Brexit train, having been given the green light last June, finally leaving the station.

“Yet such a clinical approach ignores the sentiment that surrounds this momentous occasion, when the government’s shambolic approach to Brexit turns from embarrassing to something far more dangerous.”

In terms of movers, London Stock Exchange is top of the index, up 3.5%, after the EU announced it is killing its planned merger with Deutsche Borse. Shareholders clearly weren’t in favour of the deal.

3i is also up almost 3% after an upgrade from Morgan Stanley and miners BHP Billiton is over 1%.

The pound fell early on Wednesday ahead of the triggering of Article 50 but has since rallied. This has hit the FTSE 100, where many companies have their earnings in dollars.

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