FTSE 100 watch: Footsie remains subdued after ECB rate decision
The UK benchmark index has fallen deep into the red in today’s session, pressured by a fall in oil, and a sell-off in supermarkets following Wm Morrison Supermarkets’ (LON:MRW) full-year results. The FTSE 100 has remained in negative territory after the European Central Bank (ECB) left rates unchanged.
As of 13:25 GMT, the Footsie had lost 52.26 points to stand 0.71 percent lower at 7,282.35. The blue-chip index has lost ground today, pressured by a drop in oil prices after data from the Energy Information Administration pointed to a rise in inventories. Heavyweight Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) has been one of today’s biggest fallers, having shed 3.50 percent to 2,051.50p.
The index has been little changed after the ECB announced that it had decided to keep its monetary policy unchanged, while President Mario Draghi noted that the bank continues to “expect rates to remain at present or lower levels for extended period”.
Supermarkets are also weighing on the index, after Morrisons posted a rise in full-year profits, but warned of ‘uncertainties ahead’ as a result of the plunge in sterling which is pressuring imported food prices. Morrisons’ shares are currently changing hands 5.91 percent lower at 232.40p, while peer Tesco (LON:TSCO) has lost 1.46 percent to 185.75p.
“Supermarket shares have jumped a bit, but there is this wider concern that they’re not going to be in a position to fend off the higher prices – they’re going to try and keep prices low because of the price war […] but input prices are rising,” Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said, as quoted by Reuters.
At the other end of the spectrum has been Aviva (LON:AV), whose shares have rallied 5.97 percent to 541.50p, after the blue-chip insurer announced plans to return capital to shareholders, having strengthened its balance sheet.
**The FTSE 100 was 0.57 percent down at 7,292.69 points as of 13:42 GMT on Thursday, 09 March 2017.**