FTSE 100 Watch: Footsie Declines Despite Positive GDP Figures
iNVEZZ.com Thursday July 25th: The Footsie declined in the first half of today’s trading session depressed by weak earnings posted by Unilever and BT Group as well as a broad fall in mining stocks. The FTSE 100 was down by 66.71 points or 1.01 percent to 6.553.72 at 12.04 BST.
**Rolls Royce** was one of the few gainers today with the shares surging by five percent to 1,239.00p after the UK engine maker reported a 34 percent increase in underlying profit before tax to ₤840 million. The figure came above the ₤831.7 million forecasts in a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts. The company’s chief executive John Rishton said that the ₤461 million cash outflow in the first half of the year was not acceptable and it was clear “we have a lot more to do on cost (and cash).” (Rolls Royce’s 34% Profit Increase Lifts Share Price).
**BT Group** dropped by 2.63 percent to 333.00p after the telecommunications company announced a drop in quarterly profit. The group said that profit before tax fell 16 percent to ₤449 million in its first quarter, while sales declined to ₤4.50 billion from ₤4.45 billion in the same period a year earlier (BT Share Price Little Changed ).
**Unilever** also fell after the consumer goods company posted a five percent increase in second quarter underlying revenue, below the 5.3 percent forecast by analysts. The company reported slower growth in emerging markets – 10.3 percent in the three months ended June from 10.4 percent in the previous quarter. “Growth is slowing in emerging markets, as macro-economic headwinds influence consumer behaviour,” Unilever said today. Shares in the Anglo-Dutch group were down by 1.73 percent to 2,671.00 at 12.32 BST (Unilever’s Share Price Declines on Q2 Revenue Missing Forecasts).
!m[Unilever and BT Group Lose Ground on Weaker Than Expected Earnings, Rolls Royce Surges](/uploads/story/4334/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
Mining firms on the FTSE 100 lost ground, tracking a decline in most metals prices. **Vedanta Resources** dropped by 2.97 percent to 1,142.00p, **Glencore** lost 2.11 percent to 281.20p, **Rio Tinto** shed 2.05 percent to 2,909.50 and **Anglo American** fell by 3.30 percent to 1,390.50p. Yesterday several South African mine unions warned they were one step away from initiating strikes against gold producers amid wage negotiations.
Investors shrugged off encouraging figures from the Office of National Statistics, which revealed that the UK economy expanded by 0.6 percent in the past quarter. The expansion follows a 0.3 percent increase in the previous three months – the first time since 2011 that the UK has seen back-to-back quarterly increases. The data showed that four sectors of the economy – industrial production, construction, services and agriculture – all expanded, the first time all have done so in about three years.
“This isn’t a figure that should be shouted from the rooftops by any means,” Richard Driver, currency market analyst at Caxton FX, commented on the GDP growth rate. “But given where we have been and where most other global economies are now in terms of economic growth, it is more than satisfactory.
**The FTSE 100 was 47.06 points or 0.71 percent lower at 6,573.37 as of 25.07.2013, 13.13 BST.**
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