FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as investors digest central bank news

Fed hikes rates while ECB signals end to quantitative easing

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as investors digest central bank news

The UK benchmark index has inched higher in today’s session, having posted a downbeat start, with investors focusing on the latest moves by central banks. While the US Federal Reserve moved to hike rates last night, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced plans to end its quantitative easing programme this year.

FTSE 100 steady

As of 13:15 BST, the Footsie had added 12.29 points to stand 0.16 percent higher at 7,716.00. The blue-chip index has steadied following an initial fall after the Fed moved to hike rates last night. Closer to home, the ECB said that it will end its bond purchases by the end of the year, while pledging to keep rates unchanged “at least through the summer of 2019”.

“Today’s decision is a truly Solomonic compromise between the hawks and the doves,” ING Economics’ Carsten Brzeski said in a tweet. “The hawks finally got their end-date for QE, while the doves still have their open door for more if needed. Nicely done.”

Individual movers

In individual stock news, GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) is outperforming the market, after announcing  that a two-drug treatment for HIV had met its main goal in late-stage trials. 

“At face value this is good news as competition in the HIV space has heated up, threatening GSK’s highest-margin business,” said UBS analysts, as quoted by Reuters, adding that they needed to see more details on the trial. The pharmco’s shares are 2.13 percent up at 1,578.07p.

Rolls-Royce Holdings (LON:RR) meanwhile is 3.79 percent up at 860.00p, with investors responding positively to the engine maker’s latest restructuring plans.

The FTSE 100 was 0.18 percent up at 7,717.70 points as of 13:30 BST on Thursday, 14 June 2018.

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