FTSE 100 watch: Utilities pressure Footsie amid price cap worries

AB Foods share price tumbles as group flags lower sugar profit

FTSE 100 watch: Utilities pressure Footsie amid price cap worries

The UK benchmark index has retreated in today’s trading, pressured by a selloff in utilities, with investors digesting prospects of energy price caps. In individual movers, Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) has fallen deep into the red after updating investors on its performance.

FTSE 100 subdued

As of 12:28 GMT, the Footsie had given up 27.88 points to stand 0.36 percent lower at 7,697.55. Utilities have been in the doldrums today, with Reuters reporting that a junior minister had told a parliamentary committee that the UK hoped to pass laws to allow the capping of the most common form of gas and electricity tariffs for millions of households by the summer. SSE (LON:SSE) is currently leading the sector lower, having given up 1.07 percent to 1,299.50p.

“The sector is struggling a bit mainly because there seems to be loads of competition partially because of search engines who supposedly help people to find the best deal,” said Markus Huber, trader at City of London Markets, commented, as quoted by Reuters.

Individual movers

Investors are also digesting a string of corporate results, including AB Foods’ trading update, with the company forecasting a bigger-than-expected drop in revenue and profits at its sugar business for the full year, primarily due to significantly lower EU sugar prices. AB Foods’ share price is 2.92 percent worse off at 2,773.50p.

At the other end of the spectrum has been Whitbread (LON:WTB), whose shares have added 2.76 percent to 2,773.50p, with investors shrugging off the company’s weak like-for-like sales growth in the UK and instead focusing on news that an activist investor is pushing for a break-up of the Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner.

The FTSE 100 was 0.40 percent down at 7,694.19 points as of 12:44 GMT on Thursday, January 18, 2018.

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