FTSE 100 Watch: Defensive Stocks Support Footsie Rally

on Jun 17, 2013
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The Footsie has climbed by 56.35 points or 0.89 percent to 6,364.61 today, June 17, supported by demand for safe-haven consumer staples. “Although consumer staples are highly rated and trade at a premium to others, they’re still very attractive because of the reliable free-cash generation,” Jeremy Batstone-Carr, chief economist & strategist at Charles Stanley, said.

The rebound in the FTSE 100 has followed four consecutive weeks of losses, driven by concern that the U.S. Federal Reserve could scale back or end its quantitative easing programme. Analysts believe the markets are likely to remain volatile through the Fed’s policy meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, yet the recent five percent decline of the blue-chip index has opened attractive investment opportunities among some stocks. ‘Bernanke will probably look to reduce volatility and avoid speculation over when tapering will arrive, but also that it’s going to be incremental in nature when it does arrive,’ Ioan Smith, director at Knight Capital, has said.

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**Reckitt Benckiser** has been one of the top risers on the Footsie today with the shares climbing by 2.71 percent to ₤47.03 on a positive note from Citigroup analysts. “We are buyers of Reckitt for the recovery of its core business and for its potential in consumer health. However, we also think [the pharmaceutical business] is under-valued by the market, particularly in light of its early resilience to the recent entry of generic competition in the US Suboxone market,” Citi wrote in a note to investors and gave the shares a “buy” rating and a price target of ₤54.50.

**Vodafone**, a defensive stock, has also risen today, gaining 2.68 percent to ₤1.8488 following media reports that the telecommunications company is preparing to raise its offer for Germany’s biggest cable group Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (Vodafone Share Price Up on News of Improved Bid Pending for Kabel Deutschland).
!m[FTSE 100 ](/uploads/story/3126/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)

Oil companies have also advanced with **BP** rising by 1.07 percent to ₤4.5865, **Royal Dutch Shell** up by 1.10 percent to ₤21.15 and **BG Group** adding 0.84 percent to ₤12.00. Banks have also impacted by the positive sentiment, with **HSBC** up one percent to ₤6.8689, **Lloyds** rising 0.67 percent to ₤0.6171, **Standard Chartered** edging up by 0.20 percent to ₤14.5140 and **RBS** climbing by 0.33 percent to ₤3.1706.

**The FTSE 100 was 38.98 points or 0.62 percent higher at 6,347.24 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**Reckitt Benckiser’s share price was ₤46.92 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**Vodafone’s share price was ₤1.8472 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**BP’s share price was ₤4.5840 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**Royal Dutch Shell’s share price was ₤21.1250 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**BG Group’s share price was ₤11.97 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**HSBC’s share price was ₤6,8390 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**Lloyds share price was ₤0.6149 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**Standard Chartered’s share price was ₤14.4750 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**
**RBS’ share price was ₤3.1560 as of 17.06.2013, 12.50 BST.**

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