FTSE 100 watch: Footsie volatile as investors digest US jobs report and Syria strikes

on Apr 7, 2017

The UK benchmark index has struggled for direction in today’s session, with investors focusing on the US air strikes on Syria and digesting a weaker than-expected jobs report. Wolseley (LON:WOS) is underperforming the broader London market following a rating downgrade at HSBC.

As of 14:31 BST, the Footsie had added 25.43 points to stand 0.35 percent higher at 7,328.63, having slipped in and out of negative territory throughout the session. Sentiment has been influenced by a US cruise missile strike in Syria, which has sent investors flocking to safe-haven assets. Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) is the session’s biggest riser, having tracked the gold price higher. Randgold’s share price currently stands 3.52 percent higher at 7,355.00 points.

“The action adds a complexity to geopolitics that wasn’t there before, given Russia’s support for Syria and Trump’s pre-election pledges to try and repair relations with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” MarketWatch quoted Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, as saying in a note.
“Though the nerves inspired by Trump’s airstrike on Syria persisted this morning, they gradually mingled with reactions to the day’s data,” Connor Campbell at Spreadex commented. Investors are also digesting the latest US jobs report which showed that the world’s biggest economy had added 98,000 new jobs last month. IG reports that analysts had expected 185,000 new jobs last month.
In individual movers, Wolseley’s share price has fallen 0.36 percent to 4,937.00p, after analysts at HSBC trimmed their stance on the heating and plumbing products supplier to ‘hold’.
“We believe the business is reasonably fully valued. There are, perhaps, other inflation plays in the sector with more upside for those who want it,” the broker pointed out, as quoted by Reuters.
**The FTSE 100 index was 0.51 percent up at 7,340.64 points as of 14:52 BST on Friday, 07 April 2017.**

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