FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as Brexit concerns pressure sterling

Standard Chartered share price rises as JPMorgan turns bullish on group

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as Brexit concerns pressure sterling

The UK benchmark index has climbed marginally into positive territory, finding support in a weaker pound, with sterling retreating on the back of Brexit talks worries. In individual movers, shares in Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) have been in demand following upbeat comments at JPMorgan which turned bullish on the Asia-focused lender.

FTSE 100 up as pound retreats

As of 12:08 GMT, the Footsie had added 6.87 points to stand 0.09 percent higher at 7,345.84, with the pound retreating as Prime Minister Theresa May failed to reach an agreement over the Irish border as part of the ongoing Brexit talks.

“Yesterday’s fluctuations in the pound exchange rates were only a first taste of what is to come,” Commerzbank said in a note to clients, as quoted by Reuters. A weaker pound tends to benefit blue-chips with international exposure.

Tesco (LON:TSCO) meanwhile is leading other blue-chip supermarkets higher, having gained 4.87 percent to 204.65p as Goldman Sachs turned bullish on the stock. Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) is 4.08 percent up at 242.40p, while shares in Morrisons (LON:MRW) are changing hands 3.83 percent higher at 222.20p.

StanChart shares rise

In individual stock news, shares in StanChart have been in demand as JPMorgan Cazenove lifted its rating on the stock from ‘neutral’ to ‘overweight’ and included the Asia-focused lender in its European bank top picks for 2018.

Proactive Investors quoted the analysts as explaining in a note to clients that they had raised their stance on the emerging-markets-focused firm as they “see potential for 2018-20 EPS [earnings per share] to surprise positively against consensus”. Standard Chartered’s share price is currently 3.47 percent better off at 752.40p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.08 percent higher at 7,344.67 points as of 12:36 GMT on Tuesday, 05 December 2017. 

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