FTSE 100 watch: Footsie holds steady after US jobs data

Gains in IAG and Pearson offset HSBC fall

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie holds steady after US jobs data

The UK benchmark index has advanced in today’s session, with a rise in International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) and Pearson (LON:PSON) helping offset a fall in heavyweight HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA). The FTSE 100 meanwhile has remained little changed following the latest US jobs data which fell short of expectations.

FTSE 100 steady

As of 14:21 BST, the Footsie had added 31.94 points to stand 0.43 percent higher at 7,534.63, with investors continuing to focus on corporate news. The blue-chip index has been little changed after the US Bureau for Labour statistics said that the world’s biggest economy had added 164,000 new jobs in April, while the unemployment rate had edged down to 3.9 percent, following six months at 4.1 percent. IG had previously reported that expectations were for 195,000 new jobs.

Earnings stay in focus

In individual movers, shares in British Airways and Iberia parent IAG have added 5.37 percent to 675.00p after the company posted a rise in quarterly profits, having benefitted from currency tailwinds. Pearson has been another prominent Footsie riser, having surged 7.16 percent to 889.40p after posting a ‘good start’ to the year, noting that its operating performance was on track.

At the other end of the spectrum has been HSBC, whose shares have been sold off as Europe’s biggest bank posted a drop in first-quarter profits while its share buyback plans failed to cheer investors.

“The share buyback of $2 billion is earlier, but also lower than expected,” said Charlie Huggins, manager of an income fund at Hargreaves Lansdown, as quoted by Reuters. The bank’s shares are changing hands 2.26 percent lower at 705.00p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.57 percent up at 7,545.66 points as of 14:47 BST on Friday, 04 May 2018.

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