The UK benchmark index has slipped into negative territory in the first trading session of the new year, pressured by a rise in sterling which tends to weigh on FTSE 100 stocks with international performance. Today’s decline comes after the Footsie posted an upbeat end to 2017.
FTSE 100 retreats
As of 12:32 GMT, the Footsie had lost 33.33 points to stand 0.43 percent lower at 7,654.44. The blue-chip index has shrugged off a positive handover from Asia where shares rose on the back of upbeat manufacturing data out of China, with investors instead focusing on a rise in the pound.
In individual stock news, BP (LON:BP) has lost ground after warning that the lowering of the US corporate income tax rate to 21 percent would result in a one-off non-cash charge of around $1.5 billion to its fourth-quarter results.
“Whilst there is always the chance that the necessary hit turns out to be more, you would imagine the company has been conservative, meaning more likelihood that it in fact turns out to be less,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, as quoted by Reuters. BP’s shares are currently changing hands 0.88 percent lower at 518.10p.
Shares in British Airways and Iberia parent International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) meanwhile have been in demand after the company revealed that it had inked a deal to acquire Niki for up to €36.5 million, adding the insolvent Austrian carrier to its portfolio of airlines which also includes Aer Lingus and low-cost carriers Vueling and Level. IAG’s shares are 1.90 percent up at 663.40p.
The FTSE 100 was 0.48 percent down at 7,650.78 points as of 12:46 GMT on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.