FTSE 100 watch: Footsie wobbles amid Brexit anxiety

Smiths shares in demand as group moves to spin off Medical business

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie wobbles amid Brexit anxiety

The UK benchmark index has climbed marginally higher in early afternoon trade following a downbeat start to the session, with investors digesting the latest Brexit developments. In individual FTSE 100 movers, Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) is outperforming the London market as it announced plans to spin off its Medical division.

FTSE 100 little changed

As of 12:30 GMT, the Footsie had added 11.75 points to stand 0.17 percent higher at 7,065.51, having traded lower earlier in the session. The ongoing Brexit process has been in focus today after reports suggest that the UK and the European Union had agreed a draft proposal for Brexit.

“Markets are struggling to discount two binary options, a Brexit which is relatively soft and pushed down the road or a dramatic no-deal result,” said Edward Park, investment director at Brooks Macdonald, as quoted by Reuters. “Whilst a deal remains the market’s base case, the threat of a no-deal sword of Damocles hangs over UK assets until the start of 2019 at the earliest.”

Individual blue-chip movers

In individual Footsie movers, Smiths Group is outperforming the broader UK market after revealing plans to separate its Medical unit from the rest of the business, freeing the division “to deliver on its full potential”. The group’s shares are currently changing hands 6.12 percent higher at 1,395.50p.

Prudential (LON:PRU) has been another prominent FTSE 100 riser after updating  investors on its recent trading, posting a rise in new business profit from its life insurance operations, having benefited from strong performance in Asia. The Pru’s shares are 1.30 percent better off at 1,637.00p.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.22 percent up at 7,068.97 points as of 12:50 GMT on Wednesday, 14 November 2018.

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