The UK benchmark index has fallen in the last trading day of the week, with comments by US President Donald Trump about the Federal Reserve weighing on sentiment. Imperial Brands (LON:IMB) meanwhile is outperforming the FTSE 100 amid demand for defensive stocks.
FTSE 100 subdued
As of 12:32 BST, the Footsie had given up 15.05 points to stand 0.20 percent lower at 7,668.92. Sentiment has been subdued today as President Trump said in an exclusive interview with CNBC that he was ‘not happy’ about rising interest rates.
“The comments in the interview may well worry Fed watchers and policymakers given the implicit meddling in their affairs,” Neil Wilson at Markets.com commented, as quoted by Proactive Investors, adding, however, that it was clear that the US President wanted a weaker dollar.
Imperial Brands and peer British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) have been among today’s biggest risers amid demand for defensive stocks.
“In view of the uncertainty caused by both existing and possible new trade tariffs, we currently prefer a balanced position between defensive and growth stocks,” analysts at Credit Suisse Wealth Management said in a note, as quoted by Reuters. Imperial Brands’ share price is 1.08 percent up at 2,937.00p, while shares in BAT are changing hands 2.12 percent higher at 3,944.00p.
Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) meanwhile is underperforming the FTSE 100, trading 1.05 percent in the red at 463.70p. The postal operator suffered a shareholder revolt yesterday, with more than 70 percent of voters rejecting the group’s remuneration report at the company’s annual general meeting.
The FTSE 100 was 0.25 percent up at 7,665.06 points as of 12:45 BST on Friday, 20 July 2018.