FTSE 100 watch: Easing Ukraine tension, upbeat results propel index

on Mar 4, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
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iNVEZZ.com, Tuesday, March 4: The FTSE 100 has advanced today, rebounding from yesterday’s drop, supported by easing concerns about the crisis in Ukraine. The Footsie has also found support in strong results from Ashtead Group Plc (LON:AHT), Glencore Xstrata Plc (LON:GLEN) and Meggitt Plc (LON:MGGT).

FTSE 100 rebounds as Russia pulls troops
As of 12:06 UTC, Britain’s blue-chip index had gained 109.44 points to be 1.63 percent up at 6,817.79 points after having lost 1.49 percent in the previous session. Market sentiment has improved today following Russia’s decision to scale back troop exercises near Ukraine.
Reuters quoted analysts as pointing out that the swings triggered by the tensions in Ukraine should be viewed in the context of the recent market rally, which has seen the FTSE 100 bounce nearly six percent off lows hit at the start of February.

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“Equity valuations are back up at the top of their recent range so when you get a left-field shock the impact is more dramatic than it would have been if we hadn’t had that run,” Peel Hunt equity strategist Ian Williams told Reuters.
Footsie winners and losers
The top FTSE 100 gainer so far today has been Ashtead which unveiled a strong set of results for the quarter ended January 31, 2014, and forecast that its full-year profit would exceed previous expectations. (Ashtead share price soars on record performance) As of 12:20 UTC, Ashtead’s share price had surged 11.52 percent to 943.50p.

Shares in Meggitt have also advanced today with the aerospace, defence and energy engineering group reporting that it had achieved revenue and underlying profit growth last year despite operational challenges and weakness in some of its markets. (Meggitt share price rallies on strong full-year results) Meggitt’s share price is currently 2.55 percent up at 507.50p.

Full-year results have also supported Glencore’s share price which has added 2.24 percent to 333.55p so far today. The mining giant revealed 2013 earnings ahead of a consensus forecast and said that it expected the full benefit of its merger with Xstrata to be realised in the current year. (Glencore share price: Mining giant posts 2013 earnings ahead of forecast)

Fresnillo has been the standout Footsie faller today after posting a 23 percent decline in adjusted full-year revenue. (Fresnillo share price: Full year results hit by weaker precious metal prices) As of 12:36 UTC, Fresnillo’s share price had lost 10.26 percent to 870.50p.
Royal Mail Plc’s share price (LON:RMG) has fallen 0.42 percent to 591.50p. Credit Suisse has initiated coverage of the postal services group with an ‘underperform’ rating.
The FTSE 100 was 1.50 percent up at 6,809.25 points as of 13:03 UTC on March 4, 2014.

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