FTSE 100 watch: Footsie subdued as investors digest company earnings

on Jul 27, 2017
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

The UK benchmark index has been little changed in today’s session, following the US Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain rates unchanged and with investors focusing on a string of corporate releases. Diageo (LON:DGE) is leading the FTSE 100 higher after announcing plans to return cash to investors.

As of 12:38 BST, the Footsie had added 1.97 points to stand 0.03 percent higher at 7,454.29. In macroeconomic news, the Fed maintained rates unchanged and said that it would start winding down its massive holdings of bonds ‘relatively soon’.

“The general interpretation from the Fed meeting in Europe has been that it’s sending the euro and the pound higher, which is not good for our exporters,” said Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, as quoted by Reuters. “That environment probably exacerbated the fall we are seeing in Astra and some of the other shares as well.”

AstraZeneca is proving a drag on the index as the initial results of a highly-awaited oncology trial disappointed investors. The pharmco further posted a fall in half-year revenue as generic competition to some of its top-selling drugs continued to pressure the company’s performance. AstraZeneca’s shares are currently 15.53 percent down at 4,318.77p.

At the other end of the spectrum has been Diageo, whose shares have spiked after the company reported that its net sales had climbed 15 percent in the year ended June 30, while is operating profit came in 25 percent higher. The group further said that the board had approved a share buy-back programme of up to £1.5 billion in the financial year 2018. Diageo’s share price is 7.07 percent better off at 2,433.00p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.13 percent down at 7,442.60 points as of 13:00 BST on Thursday, 27 July 2017.**