FTSE 100 watch: Footsie wobbles as investors weigh corporate earnings

on Aug 4, 2015
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The UK benchmark index has been struggling for direction in today’s session with investors reacting to a string of company earnings. Smith Group (LON:SMIN) has soared near the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard amid reports that an activist investor had taken a stake in the company.

As of 12:12 BST, the Footsie had shed 16.17 points to stand 0.24 percent lower at 6,672.45 with mixed corporate earnings and weak oil prices weighing on market sentiment.
“The continuation of this commodity drag has meant the UK index underwent another lifeless open,” said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex, said, as quoted by Reuters.
In individual stock news, shares in Smiths Group have been in demand after a report in the Financial Times suggested that US activist investor ValueAct had taken a stake in the engineering company. Smiths’ share price has added 5.22 percent to 1,209.00p so far today.

Other prominent blue-chip risers include aerospace engineering group Meggitt (LON:MGGT) which today said that its pretax profit had jumped in the first half the year. Meggitt’s share price currently stands 5.34 percent higher at 489.00p.
At the other end of the spectrum has been Travis Perkins (LON:TPK) whose shares have been sold off even as the company said that it was trading in line with forecasts. Reuters reported that some analysts were disappointed by the numbers. Travis Perkins’ share price is 3.76 percent worse off at 2,175.00p.
Standard Life (LON:SL) has also lost ground in today’s session, having posted a dip in annuity sales. The shares are currently changing hands 2.81 percent lower at 441.74p.
**The FTSE 100 was 0.24 percent down at 6,672.86 points as of 12:25 BST on August 4, 2015.**

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