The London market looked set to end the week on the front foot as a weaker pound attracted investors to blue chip shares.

The FTSE 100 Index lifted 23 points to 7409.6 in afternoon trading, after the pound continued to lag other currencies following the Bank of England lowering UK growth targets from 2% to 1.9% on Thursday (11 May). The FTSE 250 Index was 31.7 points lower at 19764.

A weaker pounds favours the international nature of the FTSE, which sells around 70% of its goods and services abroad and sees firms benefit from larger revenues when sales are translated back into sterling.

Sterling was 0.19% and 0.40% lower against the dollar and the euro respectively, trading at $1.2861 and €1.1814.

IG market analyst Joshua Mahony said: "The FTSE is looking to end the week on a positive note, as the Bank of England-driven deterioration in sterling has helped boost exporters."

Drug giant AstraZeneca was the best performer in the top flight, after itsaid that in a trial its immunotherapy treatment, Imfinzi, had lowered the risk of stage III lung cancer worsening or causing death. Shares jumped more than 7%, or 344.5p to 5092p.

The biggest afternoon risers in the FTSE 100 Index were AstraZeneca (+344.5p to 5092p), BT Group (+8p to 305.7p), Vodafone Group (+5p to 211.2p), Royal Mail (+9p to 432p) and Standard Life (+6.8p to 392p).

The biggest afternoon fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were Hikma Pharmaceuticals (-68p to 1727p), Lloyds Banking Group (-1.4p to 68.3p), GKN (-6.8p to 344.8p), Provident Financial (-63p to 3202p) and Glencore (-4.8p to 285.3p).

The biggest afternoon risers in the FTSE 250 Index were Allied Minds (+7p to 152.6p), Just Eat (+19.5 to 580p), Ibstock (+8p to 239p), Dechra Pharmaceuticals (+49p to 1798p) and Metro Bank (+91p to 3570p).

The biggest afternoon fallers in the FTSE 250 Index were Petrofac (-98p to 716.5p), Evraz (-10.5p to 190.5p), Amec Foster Wheeler (-19p to 540p), Ferrexpo (-5.3p to 159.5p) and Wood Group (-25p to 753.5p).