FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as investors mull over political developments in Europe

Barratt share price rises after upbeat analyst comments

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as investors mull over political developments in Europe

The UK benchmark index has gained ground in today’s session, amid improving sentiment following news that parties in Italy had reached a deal for a coalition government. In individual movers, Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) is outperforming the FTSE 100 following upbeat comments at JPMorgan.

FTSE 100 steadies

As of 14:41 BST, the Footsie had added 43.01 points to stand 0.56 percent higher at 7,721.21. Sentiment has improved today following news of a coalition deal in Italy, which has helped ease concerns over a potential snap election. Meanwhile in Spain, the nation’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was ousted as a leader of the country.

The FTSE 100 has held onto gains following the latest US jobs data which showed that the world’s largest economy had added 223,000 new jobs last month, while the unemployment rate had inched lower to 3.8 percent.

“Today's jobs numbers pack a wallop,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy, as quoted by CNBC. But “with significant year-over-year wage gains, the inflation fears of February could pick up steam again, which could bring a chorus of Fed hawks squawking for more rate hikes.”

Individual movers

In individual movers, Barratt Developments is outperforming the broader UK market after JPMorgan moved its recommendation on the blue-chip housebuilder from ‘neutral’ to ‘overweight’.

Barratt “has underperformed heavily over the last year on earnings risk concerns that we think will prove unfounded – if anything, we see upside risk to FY19 estimates,” the analysts pointed out, as quoted by Proactive Investors. Barratt’s share price is currently 3.19 percent better off at 563.00p. The analysts meanwhile trimmed their rating on Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW), whose shares are currently 0.21 percent up at 190.55p.

Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT) has been another prominent Footsie riser, having gained 3.42 percent to 3,633.00p, in the wake of its full-year results yesterday.

The FTSE 100 was 0.49 percent up at 7,715.74 points as of 14:57 BST on Friday, 01 June 2018.

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