FTSE 100 watch: Footsie pulls away from record high on quiet Monday

AB Foods share price rallies as Goldman Sachs lifts stance on Primark owner

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie pulls away from record high on quiet Monday

The UK benchmark index has slipped marginally into the red in today’s session, with investors having little on the macroeconomic front to focus on. Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) has climbed to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard, as analysts at Goldman Sachs turned bullish on the Primark owner.

As of 12:20 GMT, the Footsie had eased 10.01 points to stand 0.13 percent lower at 7,414.95. Financials are weighing on the blue-chip index, with Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) leading the sector lower, having shed 1.59 percent to 240.03p.

“The financial stocks have all been on a pretty good push over recent sessions, so we are starting to see some short-term profit-taking come in,” Dafydd Davies, partner at Charles Hanover Investments, told Reuters. “We could start to see, as Brexit uncertainty builds, a bit more de-risking on the financials that are particularly exposed to the direct state of affairs in question.”

Energy shares are also proving a drag on the index, tracking oil prices lower. BP (LON:BP) has lost 1.05 percent lower at 458.13p, while shares in Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) are currently changing hands 0.44 percent in the red at 2,113.59p.

In individual blue-chip movers, AB Foods has gained ground after Goldman Sachs hiked its rating on the FTSE 100 group from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’. Reuters quoted the analysts as saying that they had concluded that that Primark’s market positioning remains differentiated and, unlike peers, higher input costs are baked into FY17E GM%,” adding that success with a potential Click & Collect model could offer upside. AB Foods’ share price is currently 1.72 percent better off at 2,661.00p.

The FTSE 100 index 0.18 percent down at 7,411.76 points as of 12:37 GMT on Monday, 20 March 2017.

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