FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steadies above 7,000-point mark after upbeat data

on Dec 16, 2016

The UK benchmark index has returned above the 7,000-point mark in today’s session, propped up by upbeat manufacturing figures. Micro Focus (LON:MCRO) meanwhile has tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after UBS lowered its stance on the shares.

As of 12:21 GMT, the Footsie had climbed 19.75 points to stand 0.28 percent higher at 7,018.76, returning above the 7,000-point mark following positive manufacturing data.
“December’s CBI Industrial Trends Survey offered another reason to think that the manufacturing sector is in better health than the recent weak official data suggest,” Paul Hollingsworth, economist at Capital Economics, commented, as quoted by The Telegraph, adding that the group continued to expect gross domestic product growth to become better balanced over the coming quarters.

Earlier today, Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analyst at London Capital Group, told Reuters that while appetite above the 7,000-point level seemed to be limited, “the cheaper pound and the recovery in oil prices could give a hand to the bulls and clear the way for a positive close”.
In individual Footsie movers, Micro Focus’ share price has fallen 4.03 percent to 2,145.00p after analysts at UBS trimmed their stance on the company from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral’ following the group’s results earlier this week.

“Notwithstanding the first half’s good results and a $400-million planned return of value, we see the upside for the shares as limited now,” the bank pointed out, as quoted by the Guardian, adding that the group’s cashflow was likely to show the effects of significant legal and advisory fees ahead of the closing of the company’s deal to buy Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business.
**The FTSE 100 index was 0.21 percent up at 7,013.85 points as of 12:34 GMT on Friday, 16 December 2016.**

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