FTSE 100 Watch: Johnson Matthey Propels Footsie Higher

on Jun 6, 2013
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The Footsie regained some ground today and was up by 6.34 points, or 0.10 percent, at 6,425.65 as of 12.20 BST.

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**Johnson Matthey** (LON:JMAT) led the FTSE 100 winners in the first half of today’s trading session with shares rising by 6.65 percent to ₤27.58. The UK platinum refiner and producer of auto-catalysts has reported a smaller-than-expected drop in earnings in the first quarter, with stronger demand in the U.S. car market offsetting disappointing performance in the company’s precious metals division (Johnson Matthey Reports Smaller-Than-Expected Drop in Profit ).

Traders are anticipating further gains in Johnson Matthey’s shares, which are already trading at all-time highs. “Much of the short-term negativity has been removed from the share price given today’s news and we think that FV (fair value) remains at least 5 percent higher than current levels given the uplift we expect in the raw material space,” Atif Latif, director of trading at Guardian Stockbrokers, said as quoted by Reuters.

**RSA Insurance** (LON:RSA) also saw solid gains today, trading 2.92 percent higher at ₤1.1650 at 12.40 BST after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the shares from underweight to overweight and its price target from ₤1.24 to ₤1.36. Liberum Capital’s price target upgrade from ₤3.15 to ₤3.45 boosted **BT Group’s** share price (LON:BT.A) by 3.30 percent to ₤3.0380.

**Barclays** (LON:BARC) was the main faller on the Footsie in the morning with the stock dropping by 2.10 percent to ₤3.0965 after Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) unloaded 84.5 million of the UK bank’s shares at ₤3.085 apiece (Barclays’ Share Price Drops on SMBC Unloading 84.5 Million Shares ).
**easyJet’s** shares (LON:EZJ) were in negative territory as well, falling by 1.54 percent to ₤12.15 after investors took profit following the 58 percent increase in the company’s market cap since the beginning of the year. The budget airline reported today that it carried more than 60 million passengers in the year to the end of May, 5.6 percent more than last year.

On the macroeconomic front the Bank of England voted today against restarting its bond-buying programme and left the interest rate at its record low level of 0.5 percent. This was the last BoE Monetary Policy Committee meeting attended by BoE governor Mervyn King, who will be retiring at the end of the month after spending 20 years at the bank.
!m[Johnson Matthey’s share price was ₤27.50 as of 06.06.2013, 13.00 BST.](/uploads/story/2830/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
Trade is expected to remain volatile ahead of the release of key U.S. jobs figures on Friday. The data could further fuel speculation as to whether the Fed would alter or end its quantitative easing programme any time soon.
“It’s one of those difficult ones to predict – if it’s a good number, is that bad? And if it’s a bad number, is that good?” Mark Priest, trader at ETX Capital, said. “The markets are pretty nervous at the moment anyway, I think it’s going to be pretty choppy trade … people are sitting back and waiting.”
**The FTSE 100 was 0.19 percent higher at 6,431.59 as of 06.06.2013, 13.00 BST.**
**Johnson Matthey’s share price was ₤27.50 as of 06.06.2013, 13.00 BST.**
**RSA Insurance’s share price was ₤1.1649 as of 06.06.2013, 13.00 BST.**
**BT Group’s share price was ₤3.0403 as of 06.06.2013, 12.59 BST.**
**Barclays’ share price was ₤3.1010 as of 06.06.2013, 12.59 BST.**
**easyJet’s share price was ₤12.1750 as of 06.06.2013, 12.58 BST.**

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