The FTSE 100 index has slipped into the red in today’s session, staying subdued with Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond delivering his first Spring Statement. In individual blue-chip movers, shares in Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) have been in demand after the miner updated investors on its full-year performance this morning.
FTSE 100 subdued
As of 13:22 GMT, the Footsie had lost 30.68 points to stand 0.43 percent lower at 7,184.08. The blue-chip index has extended its earlier losses even as Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond said in today’s Spring Statement that the nation’s economy is forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in the current year, up from November’s 1.4-percent growth forecast. The Office for Budget Responsibility has further estimated that Britain’s divorce bill with the European Union would come in at £37.1 billion.
“The Chancellor has kept his word and made very few policy changes in today’s Spring Statement, choosing instead to wait until the Autumn Budget to assess whether he can ease the fiscal consolidation,” Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, commented, as quoted by Proactive Investors.
Sentiment has also been subdued this afternoon amid news that US President Donald Trump was replacing his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Antofagasta has climbed to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard in today’s session after disclosing that its earnings before interest, taxes, amortisation and depreciation had surged 59.1 percent last year, while the group’s earnings per share had come in 119 percent higher. Antofagasta’s share price currently stands 2.48 percent higher at 909.80p.
At the other end of the spectrum has been Direct Line Group (LON:DLG), whose shares have been sold off after Deutsche Bank lowered its stance on the blue-chip insurer, arguing that it was now in a transition phase. Direct Line’s shares are changing hands 2.43 percent in the red at 383.65p.
The FTSE 100 was 0.41 percent down at 7,184.93 points as of 13:46 GMT on Tuesday, 13 March 2018.