FTSE 100 watch: Footsie dips even as Bank of England leaves rates unchanged

BoE’s chief economist backs rate hike

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie dips even as Bank of England leaves rates unchanged

The UK benchmark index has fallen into the red in afternoon trade, giving up its morning gains, as the Bank of England (BoE) kept rates unchanged, in line with expectations. The minutes from the policy meeting, however, showed that the BoE’s chief economist have backed a rate hike.

FTSE 100 falls after BoE rate decision

As of 13:33 BST, the Footsie had given up 44.99 points to stand 0.59 percent lower at 7,582.41. The blue-chip index has retreated as the BoE announced that its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had voted 6-3 in favour of keeping interest rates unchanged, while disclosing that its chief economist Andy Haldane had backed a rate hike.

“There was a small element of surprise in the voting, with the Bank’s chief economist Andy Haldane joining Michael Saunders and perma-hawk Ian McCafferty in calling for an immediate rate rise,” Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented, as quoted by the Guardian. “Economists had expected a 7-2 split, but in the event a forecast uptick in inflation was enough to split the committee 6-3.”

Sky rises as Disney hikes offer for Fox

In individual movers, shares in Sky (LON:SKY) have been in demand after in the US, Disney announced a new, improved offer to buy the majority of 21st Century Fox’s media assets. Reuters meanwhile noted that while the move had raised speculation that Fox will raise its own bid for the London-listed group, Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker had said the room for further upside may be limited.

“We do not think it will be bid more than 10 percent above Comcast’s bid, implying 1375p, which is where the shares are now,” Whittaker pointed out, as quoted by the newswire. Sky’s share price is 1.27 percent better off at 1,397.50p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.70 percent up at 7,574.29 points as of 13:45 BST on Thursday, 21 June 2018.

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