FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as US jobs beat expectations
The UK benchmark index has advanced marginally in today’s session, holding onto gains following the release of the US jobs report which surpassed analyst expectations. In individual movers, shares in Centrica (LON:CNA) have been in demand in today’s session amid speculation that the British Gas owner might be a takeover target.
As of 13:49 BST, the FTSE 100 index had added 14.09 points to stand 0.19 percent higher at 7,351.37, staying on track to post a small gain for the week. The Footsie has been little changed after the US Bureau for Labour Statistics reported that the world’s largest economy had added 220,000 new jobs last month. Bloomberg notes that analysts had expected 178,000 new jobs.
In individual stock news, Centrica has jumped in today’s trading after a report on the Wall Street Wires website suggested that the British Gas owner might be a takeover target. Reuters, however, reported that analysts at Jefferies were sceptical. Centrica’s share price meanwhile is 4.21 percent up at 210.40p.
At the other end of the spectrum has been advertising giant WPP (LON:WPP), whose shares have been sold off as Exane BNP Paribas lowered its stance on the company to ‘underperform’.
“Marketing is driven by mobile, nimbler brands, ecommerce and automation/AI. These areas are dominated by platforms where agencies are sparse, raising the risk of lower mid-term growth,” the analysts said in a note, as quoted by Reuters, adding that the FTSE 100 group and its French peer Publicis had “good track records of adapting to industry changes”.
“We would buy once evidence they have adapted mounts, or on a much greater valuation discount,” they pointed out. WPP’s share price is 3.17 percent down at 1,559.00p.
**The FTSE 100 index was 0.21 percent up at 7,353.05p as of 14:02 BST on Friday, 07 July 2017.**