The FTSE 100 moved into positive territory in intraday trading following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget, up 0.03 per cent to 7,340.93.
The Chancellor announced the forecast for UK GDP in 2017 has increased to 2 per cent, revised up from the 1.4 per cent figure forecast in November’s Autumn Statement while the short-term borrowing forecast has been substantially revised down.
However in a shock move Hammond also announced he will reduce the dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.
Ahead of the Budget the FTSE was down by 0.06 per cent or 4.36 points to 7,334.74 in early morning trading.
Sterling strengthened slightly following the Budget, having fallen to a seven-week low earlier in the day to $1.216 and 86.76 pence per euro. At 13:50 sterling reached $1.217 and €1.154.