FTSE 100 watch: Footsie backs off ahead of FOMC meeting

on Dec 17, 2013
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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iNVEZZ.com, Tuesday, December 17: The Footsie has declined today, giving up yesterday’s gains and with investors exercising caution ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) policy meeting.

Shares in oil services group Petrofac (LON:PFC) are down today, hit by a profit warning by French rival CCG.
**Fed uncertainty weighs on FTSE 100**
As of 12:12 UTC, Britain’s benchmark index had shed 12.30 points to be 0.19 percent down at 6,509.90, after having closed 1.28 percent higher at 6,522.20 points yesterday. Market participants appear to be staying on the sidelines with the US Federal Reserve due to start its two-day policy meeting later today and with a decision on tapering to follow at the meeting’s close tomorrow evening UTC.

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While most observers expect the US central bank to maintain the size of its bond purchases until March next year, recent upbeat figures from the world’s largest economy have fuelled speculation of at least a degree of tapering this side of Christmas.
“We saw a strong rally yesterday, so we’re seeing a bit of a consolidation now,” Max King, an investment strategist at Investec Asset Management, told Bloomberg. “People are thinking of the Fed tapering and its impact on markets. Worry about the tapering has held markets back.”

NF Capital trader Rick Jones told Reuters that people had “taken some gains off the table prior to the Fed meeting”, adding that the retreat was a chance to buy stocks cheap.
“We’ve had a bit of a pullback this morning but we’re actively buying into the dip,” Jones shared.
**Footsie winners and losers**
Petrofac has been among the top FTSE 100 losers today, with its share price giving up 1.73 percent to be at 1,133.00p. Reuters quoted traders as explaining that a profit warning at French rival CGG was hitting oil-services stocks. BP (LON:BP) is also down, with the Financial Times reporting that plaintiffs in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill case had yesterday accused BP’s attorneys of omissions in a declaration which amounted to misleading the court.

BP’s share price is currently 1.33 percent down at 466.90p.
GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) has also retreated today, with the company announcing changes to its global sales and marketing practices. (GSK share price: drug maker takes measures to clean up sales practices) GSK’s share price is currently off 1.13 percent at 1,571.00p.

Footsie miners have been mixed today, with Anglo American (LON:AAL) and BHP Billiton (BLT) posting losses and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and Glencore Xstrata (LON:GLEN) climbing. As of 13:15 UTC, Anglo American had eased 0.81 percent to 1,282.00p while BHP had given up 0.39 percent to 1,786.00p. Rio Tinto is currently 1.51 percent up at 3,267.00p Glencore at 307.15p is 0.57 percent higher on the day.
RSA Insurance (LON:RSA) has rebounded despite Standard & Poor’s cutting its credit rating on the stock from A to A-, with investors rushing to take advantage of the recent price slump. RSA’s share price has gained 2.47 percent so far today, to be at 92.32 pence.
**The FTSE 100 was 0.26 percent down at 6,505.16 points as of 13:05 UTC on 17 December 2013.**
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