FTSE 100 watch: Footsie little changed ahead of US jobs report

on Oct 6, 2016

The UK benchmark index has been little changed in today’s session, with sentiment subdued ahead of the US jobs report tomorrow. A slump in easyJet (LON:EZJ) and Smith & Nephew (LON:SN) is also weighing on the FTSE 100.

As of 12:42 BST, the Footsie had gained 1.37 points to stand 0.02 percent higher at 7,034.62. Investors are staying on the sidelines ahead of the US non-farm payrolls report tomorrow, which could provide some clues into whether the Federal Reserve would move to hike interest rates this year.
The index has also been dragged down by easyJet, whose shares have tumbled 4.79 percent to 955.00p after the budget carrier disclosed that its profit is expected to have fallen in the year ended September 30 and flagged a £90-million hit from currency headwinds in its next financial year.
“EasyJet is facing challenging times on a number of fronts, and it’s one of the worst performing stocks in the FTSE 100 since the EU referendum,” said George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, as quoted by Reuters. “The group say that weaker sterling is making going abroad less affordable for the average Brit, while the rising threat of terrorism is putting customers off too. These are industry-wide factors. However, the competition is hotting up too.”
Smith & Nephew, whose shares are going ex-dividend today, has been another prominent Footsie faller, further pressured by a rating cut from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’ at Berenberg.
“Smith & Nephew has gradually de-emphasised its slower growth areas and implemented various cost-savings measures, reinvesting the proceeds in faster growth areas of the business,” the Guardian quoted the analysts as commenting. “However, the success of this strategy has been largely offset by various missteps and one-off headwinds, a trend we expect to continue.” Smith & Nephew’s share price is currently 3.16 percent worse off at 1,225.00p.
**The FTSE 100 0.04 percent down at 7,030.13 points as of 12:49 BST on Thursday, October 6, 2016.**

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