FTSE 100 watch: Footsie stays little changed after ECB decision


Bank drops promise to increase bond buys if needed

The UK benchmark index has been little changed in today’s session, staying marginally in positive territory after the European Central Bank (ECB) unveiled its monetary policy statement. Falls in Aviva (LON:AV) and G4S (LON:GFS) are also weighing on the FTSE 100, with the companies’ respective annual results disappointing investors.

FTSE 100 little changed

As of 13:31 GMT, the Footsie had added 1.16 points to stand 0.016 percent higher at 7,159.00. The blue-chip index has remained marginally in positive territory after the ECB left rates unchanged, in line with expectations. Reuters, however, noted that the bank had dropped a promise to increase bond buys if needed.

“It’s not a major change in itself in that nobody was expecting an increase in asset purchases anyway,” Mizuho rates strategist Antoine Bouvet, told the newswire. “But the market is concerned that the implication could be that the ECB is ready to move rates earlier than what is currently priced in.”

Individual blue-chip movers

In individual movers, G4S has fallen to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard, despite posting a rise in revenue for 2017. Investors have instead focused on the group’s downbeat performance in the Middle East and Asia, where the security services company faced challenging trading conditions. G4S’ shares are 2.88 percent down at 256.40p.

A rise in annual profits at Aviva has similarly failed to entice investors who are instead mulling over the blue-chip insurer’s downbeat results from its Canadian division. Aviva’s shares are changing hands 0.39 percent in the red at 505.60p, having fallen more than two percent earlier in the session.

The FTSE 100 was 0.067 percent up at 7,162.64 points as of 13:48 GMT on Thursday, 08 March 2018.