FTSE 100 watch: Footsie stays subdued as BoE keeps rates unchanged

Marks & Spencer share price down after John Lewis results

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie stays subdued as BoE keeps rates unchanged

The UK benchmark index has fallen marginally into the red in today’s session, staying subdued after the Bank of England kept rates unchanged, in line with expectations. A downbeat update from John Lewis meanwhile is pressuring Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS).

FTSE 100 stays in the red

As of 13:20 BST, the Footsie had lost 17.96 points to stand 0.25 percent lower at 7,295.40. The index has remained subdued after the BoE maintained the bank rate at 0.75 percent, while pointing to greater financial market concerns about Brexit.

“Since the Committee’s previous meeting, there have been indications, most prominently in financial markets, of greater uncertainty about future developments in the [European Union] withdrawal process,” the bank said in a statement.

Over in continental Europe, the European Central Bank also left rates unchanged, expecting that they will remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019.

Retailers under pressure

Marks & Spencer has fallen to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard, pressured by an update by John Lewis, whose profit tumbled in the first half of the year. Marks & Spencer’s share price is currently 2.32 percent down at 286.50p.

Shares in Morrisons (LON:MRW) meanwhile have given up 1.09 percent to 262.90p even as the blue-chip retailer posted a rise in interim profits.

“The question now is where can Morrisons go from here? There remains some intense pressure from discounters, whilst Tesco has lately announced its own discount chain aimed at countering the German upstarts. Further pressure on margins seems inevitable,” said Neil Wilson, analyst at Markets.com, as quoted by Reuters.  

The FTSE 100 was 0.11 percent down at 7,305.43 points as of 13:38 BST on Thursday, 13 September 2018.

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