FTSE 100 watch: Footsie subdued as investors eye earnings season

on Apr 12, 2016

Britain’s blue-chip index has been little changed in today’s session, with broker downgrades and caution at the start of the earnings season offsetting gains in the mining sector. Ashtead (LON:AHT) has slipped to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after HSBC downgraded the stock.

As of 12:27 BST, the UK benchmark index had shed 2.15 points to stand 0.03 percent lower at 6,197.97, having traded marginally higher earlier in the session, with investors staying on the sidelines at the start of the earnings season.
Steady copper prices, however, have propped up miners. Anglo American (LON:AAL), which today updated investors on its rough diamond sales, is leading the sector higher, having added 5.96 percent to 620.00p. Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) is also outperforming the broader market on account of its exposure to commodities, having added 5.64 percent to 473.20p.

At the other end of the spectrum has been Ashtead, whose shares have lost 4.10 percent to 807.50p after HSBC downgraded its rating on the stock from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’.
“Upon a closer examination, Ashtead’s fleet may not be materially younger than that of the peers, at least on a basis that matters commercially,” analysts at HSBC said in a note, as quoted by Reuters. Intu Properties (LON:INTU) has been another prominent Footsie faller after Peel Hunt downgraded the company to ‘reduce’ and trimmed its price target on the stock from 300p to 275p. Intu’s share price is 2.33 percent worse off at 309.80p.
Shares in Burberry (LON:BRBY) meanwhile have been sold off after French peer LVMH’s results missed forecasts. Burberry’s share price has lost 2.39 percent to 1,266.00p so far today.
**The FTSE 100 was flat at 6,200.38 points as of 12:55 BST on April 12, 2016.**

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