FTSE 100 watch: Footsie slips from record highs amid Greece concerns

on Mar 23, 2015

Britain’s blue-chip index has been little changed in today’s session, briefly touching a record high, with renewed concerns over Greece weighing on market sentiment. In stock news, shares in Standard Chartered Plc (LON:STAN) have been in demand following positive broker comments.

As of 13:02 GMT, the FTSE 100 had lost 1.39 points to stand 0.02 percent lower at 7,021.12, having briefly hit 7,027.33 earlier in the session. Investors have been cautious ahead of a meeting between the leaders of Greece and Germany amid rising tensions over Athens’ bailout programme. The Footsie has breached the 7,000-point level following last week’s signals from the US Federal Reserve that it is in no hurry to raise interest rates.
Standard Chartered’s share price has soared 7.37 percent to 1,150.50p so far today after analysts at JPMorgan Cazenove raised their rating on the stock from ‘neutral’ to ‘overweight’ and lifted their price target from 1,050p to 1,072p.
“Although we were hesitant to change our view for the arrival of the new chief executive which has been a material positive, we believe that last week’s UK budget may lead the market to attach a higher probability of strategic actions to change domicile and unlock value,” the analysts said in a note.
At the other end of the spectrum has been Carnival (LON:CCL) whose shares have been sold off after Deutsche Bank downgraded the blue-chip cruise operator from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’ ahead of the company’s first-quarter update later this week. The analysts pointed to “significant moves in euro and pound foreign exchange” which could result in the company’s estimated earnings per share guidance for the current year being reduced around eight percent. Carnival’s share price is currently 2.81 percent worse off at 3,111.00p.
**The FTSE 100 was 0.03 percent up at 7,024.39 points as of 13:26 GMT on March 23, 2015.**

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