FTSE 100 watch: Stronger sterling continues to pressure Footsie

easyJet share price flies high as airline launches new platform

FTSE 100 watch: Stronger sterling continues to pressure Footsie

The UK benchmark index has slipped into the red for a second session this week, pressured by the ongoing sterling strength in the run-up to the Bank of England’s (BOE) rate decision tomorrow. easyJet (LON:EZJ) meanwhile has cruised to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after launching a new airline connections service.

As of 12:42 BST, Britain’s blue-chip index had given up 17.24 points to stand 0.23 percent lower at 7,383.45. The index has remained subdued due to a rise in the pound which is pressuring blue-chips with international exposure ahead of tomorrow’s BOE meeting.

“I’m not sure whether the (BOE) message on Thursday will be quite as hawkish as some might expect, because to hike rates now while we’ve technically got more people working, but for less, while prices are rising, is not really the ideal set-up for hiking,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, as quoted by Reuters.

BP (LON:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA), however, are keeping the index’s losses in check, benefitting from a rise in oil. BP’s share price has added 0.58 percent to 451.51p, while shares in Shell are changing hands 0.66 percent higher at 2,149.50p.

In individual movers, shares in easyJet have been in demand as the company launched a new global airline connections service. The service, dubbed ‘Worldwide,’ will allow customers to connect their easyJet flight with partner airline flights. The group’s launch partners are WestJet and Norwegian, which offer flights to North and South America and the Far East. easyJet’s share price is currently 1.51 percent up at 1,212.00p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.22 percent down at 7,384.49 points as of 12:55 BST on Wednesday, 13 September 2017.

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