FTSE 100 watch: Footsie extends gains amid corporate updates

Unilever bucks trend amid pricing worries

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie extends gains amid corporate updates

The UK benchmark index has gained ground this Thursday, building on the previous session’s gains, finding support in commodity shares and with investors digesting corporate results. Unilever (LON:ULVR), however, is underperforming the FTSE 100 despite posting a rise in underlying sales growth for the first quarter.

FTSE 100 extends gains

As of 12:31 BST, the Footsie had added 18.83 points to stand 0.26 percent higher at 7,334.17. The blue-chip index has found support in commodity shares, which have tracked oil prices higher. Shares in Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) are currently 0.37 percent up at 2,456.00p, while BP (LON:BP) has advanced 0.40 percent to 511.62p.

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT), which hiked its copper output guidance today, meanwhile has advanced 0.34 percent to 1,532.40p.

“The FTSE 100 has continued its recent ascent, with the price breaking towards a crucial resistance level today,” Joshua Mahoney, market analyst at IG, commented in a note, adding that 7,340 points was “the crucial level to watch, with the potential for a breakout or reversal to set us up for the end of the week’s trade”.

Individual Footsie movers

Unilever has been today’s most prominent Footsie faller even after it reported first-quarter sales growth and unveiled plans to return cash to shareholders.

“Price growth is underwhelming […] This could concern investors that Unilever might lose pricing power,” said Jauke de Jong, research analyst at ‎AFS Group, as quoted by Reuters. Unilever’s shares are currently changing hands two percent in the red at 3,867.50p.

Shire (LON:SHP) meanwhile is rallying 6.61 percent to trade at 4,002.00p after Reuters reported that Takeda had made a bid for the London-listed rare disease specialist.

The FTSE 100 was 0.26 percent up at 7,336.30 points as of 12:53 BST on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

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