FTSE 100 watch: Footsie subdued as investors digest company news

AstraZeneca share price extends slide in wake of CEO departure report

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie subdued as investors digest company news

The UK benchmark index has been subdued in today’s session, with investors eyeing corporate developments. AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) has continued yesterday’s slide following a report that its chief executive officer might leave the company for generics drugmaker Teva.

As of 12:20 BST, the FTSE 100 had lost 20.33 points to stand 0.27 percent lower at 7,393.11. Despite today’s decline, the blue-chip index remains on track to post a gain for the week, finding support in stronger oil prices, as well as comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen earlier in the week that the US central bank will start trimming its massive portfolio.

The Footsie, however, has been underperforming other European indices in today’s trading, pressured by a drop in AstraZeneca (LON:AZN), whose shares continue to be sold off on the back of yesterday’s report in financial news website Calcalist which suggested that the pharmco’s chief executive Pascal Soriot was close to being poached by generics drugmaker Teva. Reuters noted today that a spokeswoman for the FTSE 100 company had said that the group had declined to comment on the media report. AstraZeneca’s share price is currently 1.15 percent worse off at 4,955.50p.

Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) has been another prominent Footsie faller after saying that it was now offering employees a choice between a defined benefit or contribution pension scheme, in an effort to reach an agreement with trade unions about the future of its pension plan. The group’s shares are changing hands 2.63 percent in the red at 400.20p.

ITV (LON:ITV), meanwhile has lost ground as Goldman Sachs lowered its valuation on the stock and other European media operators. Sharecast reported that the analysts had cut forecasts for industry advertising revenue for the second quarter but spied a rebound ahead. ITV’s share price is 1.13 percent down at 175.30p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.29 percent down at 7,392.24 points as of 12:46 BST on Friday, 14 July 2017.

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