FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady despite North Korea setback

Kingfisher shares in demand while Royal Mail falls

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady despite North Korea setback

The UK benchmark index has inched higher in today’s session, recouping some of the previous sessions’ losses, despite US President Donald Trump’s move to cancel a summit with North Korea’s leader. In individual movers, Kingfisher (LON:KGF) is rallying while Royal Mail (LON:RMG) is in the doldrums.

FTSE 100 inches higher

As of 12:15 BST, the blue-chip index had added 16.17 points to stand 0.21 percent higher at 7,732.91. Sentiment has been upbeat even as President Trump decided to cancel his highly-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The Footsie, however, remains on track to post a loss to what has been a volatile week, marked by a new record high for the index, followed by two sessions of hefty losses.

Individual blue-chip movers

In individual movers, shares in Kingfisher have been in demand after Australia’s Wesfarmers said that it would sell rival UK home improvement chain Homebase just two years after buying it. Reuters quoted analyst at Jefferies as saying that the disposal marked ‘very good news’ for the company.

“Today’s news should see B&Q’s biggest competitor become much more sensitive to short, and mid-term, margin and cashflow challenges,” the broker pointed out. Kingfisher’s stock is currently 3.67 percent better off at 307.80p.

At the other end of the spectrum has been Royal Mail, whose shares have been sold off as analysts at Berenberg lowered their rating on the stock, amid prospects for costs related to the General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force today. Shares in the privatised postal operator are changing hands 2.38 percent in the red at 532.40p.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.14 percent up at 7,727.36 points as of 12:36 BST on Friday, 25 May 2018.

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