Royal Dutch Shell Plc

UK stock market just shy of record high as pound drops

Britain's main stock market fell agonizingly short of an all-time high on Tuesday amid a groundswell of optimism that exporters and multinationals will benefit from the pound's woes in the wake of the country's vote to leave the European Union in June.

The pressure on the currency, particularly against the dollar where it is trading at 31-year lows, has mounted this week following comments from Prime Minister Theresa May that suggested the country could be heading for a definitive break from the European Union's single market.

The worry, at least in the currency markets, is that a clean break could threaten the pre-eminent position of London's financial sector, and see...