FTSE 100 watch: US selloff and Brexit worries weigh on Footsie

Shire shares trade higher as Takeda investors okay tie-up

FTSE 100 watch: US selloff and Brexit worries weigh on Footsie

The UK benchmark index has fallen deep into the red this Wednesday, pressured by a downbeat lead from the US, as well as the latest Brexit developments at home. Shire (LON:SHP) has been one of the FTSE 100’s bright spots as investors at Takeda okayed the tie-up between the two companies.

FTSE 100 in the red

As of 12:38 GMT, the Footsie had given up 72.54 percent to trade 1.03 percent lower at 6,950.22. Sentiment has been subdued today following a downbeat handover from the US, where the major indices suffered steep falls on the back of a bond-market phenomenon which sparked fears for a possible economic slowdown.

At home, focus has been on the start of a debate leading  up to a Parliamentary vote next week over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan.

“Most measures of sentiment and positioning in the UK show a loathing of all UK assets. Investors just have a revulsion for the UK,” said Paul O’Connor, head of the multi-asset team at Janus Henderson, as quoted by Reuters.

Individual movers

In individual blue-chip movers, shares in Shire have been in demand after Takeda said that its shareholders had backed the Japanese group’s takeover of the UK rare disease specialist. Shire’s shares are currently changing hands 3.05 percent higher at 4,689.00p.

Shares in the John Wood Group (LON:WG) have been sold off even as the company disclosed that it had been awarded a $43 million contract by a large-cap midstream company to construct 80 miles of steel pipeline in west Texas. The blue-chip group is further hosting an operational teach-in for analysts and investors on the operations of its Asset Solutions Americas business unit today. Wood Group’s share price is 2.98 percent worse off at 633.55p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.99 percent down at 6,952.96 points as of 13:01 GMT on Wednesday, 05 December 2018.

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