FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steadies near record highs

RBS shares in demand after upbeat analyst comments

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steadies near record highs

The UK benchmark index has advanced marginally in today’s session, having closed above the 7,400-point mark yesterday for the first time in history, with investors digesting this week’s events which included a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) has gained ground following upbeat comments at Natixis.

As of 12:22 GMT, the Footsie had added 11.07 points to stand 0.15 percent higher at 7,427.02, holding steady above the 7,400-point mark. The index is on track for about a one-percent gain this week after the Fed raised interest rates but issued a more-dovish-than-expected policy statement.

“Indices are generally quiet after the excitement earlier in the week, but so far, the mood is one of consolidation rather than bearishness,” Chris Beauchamp at IG said in a note today, adding that below 7,400 points, the FTSE 100 would target 7,380 and then 7,358, while in case of a bigger pullback, the index would head towards the 50-day simple moving average at 7,269.

“Only a close below 7174 would really indicate that the rally has run its course,” the analyst pointed out.

Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analyst at LCG Markets, meanwhile told Reuters that mixed appetite in commodities added to a stronger pound could keep the appetite limited and point at a weekly close for the index below 7,400 points.

In individual movers, RBS’ shares have gained 2.37 percent to 246.30p after Natixis upgraded its view on the bank, saying the investment thesis was reaching a turning point.

“The time is near when the long-standing strengths of the core bank will outweigh the material drag of legacy items,” the analysts said, as quoted by Reuters.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.24 percent up at 7,433.91 points as of 12:39 GMT on Friday, 17 March 2017.

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