FTSE 100 Watch: Footsie on Track for Biggest One-week Gain in Seven Months
iNVEZZ.com, Friday, July 5th: The Footsie has advanced today and is on track for the biggest weekly gain in seven months.
The FTSE 100 was 0.23 percent up at 6,436.38 as of 12:46 BST. The Footsie jumped 3.1 percent yesterday, its biggest one-day gain in more than one-and-a half years after the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) pledged to hold interest rates at record lows. Britain’s blue-chip index is headed for a gain of 3.8 percent this week, which will be its biggest advance in a single week since November. Today, investors have been awaiting the release of the latest US non-farms payrolls data, looking for clues when the Fed will start to reduce its asset purchases known as quantitative easing. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that employers added 165,000 new jobs last month, slightly below the 175,000 created in May.
“People are talking about a number between 170,000 and 180,000,” noted Tom Robinson, senior trader at Accendo Markets, as quoted by Reuters. “I would imagine we are likely to get 175,000 and that could support the market, with some high beta stocks going higher”. Robertson added that a number as high as 250,000 could “spook the market”, and that any significant change in the actual unemployment rate was also likely to have a negative impact on stock prices.
Manish Singh, head of investment at Crossbridge Capital, expected a number above the median estimates. “The US jobs report is key as the Federal Reserve policy and response to it always play on investors’ minds,” Bloomberg quoted Singh as saying. “The BoE surprised markets on the upside and signalled more accommodation, which is positive for UK equities.” Yesterday, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee kept quantitative easing unchanged at £375 billion and held its key rate at 0.5 percent.
**Top Gainers and Decliners**
Banks have been among the best performers on FTSE 100 today, with shares in HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) adding 0.90 percent to 717.80p as of 13:18 BST. Barclays Plc (LON:BARC) gained one percent to trade at 295.62p, whereas Standard Chartered Plc (LON:STAN) also rose one percent to 1,511.50p. Shares in Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LON:LLOY) added 0.97 percent to 66.50p and Aberdeen Asset Management Plc (LON:ADN) surged 2.83 percent to trade at 396.70p.
!m[Britain’s Blue-Chip Index Rises as Investors Eye US Jobs Report](/uploads/story/3722/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
The British Land Company Plc (LON:BLND) gained 2.22 percent to 597.50p after the real estate investment trust said that it had bought a commercial property in London for £470 million. Redrow Plc (LON:RDW) surged 4.08 percent to 247.60p after Deutsche Bank AG increased its 12-month stock price estimate and profit forecasts for 2013 and 2014.
Among the Footsie losers today has been Whitbread Plc (LON:WTB), which shed 3.07 percent to trade at 3,097.00 after UBS AG lowered its recommendation on the stock to neutral from buy. Miner Fresnillo Plc (LON:FRES) fell 3.35 percent to 910.00p following a drop in silver prices.
**The FTSE 100 was 0.33 percent up at 6,443.11 as of 13:13 BST on 5 July 2013.**