FTSE 100 watch: Footsie heads south amid geopolitical worries

on Aug 9, 2017

The UK benchmark index has fallen deep into the red in today’s session, with investors shunning riskier assets and flocking to safe havens such as gold amid tension between the US and North Korea. In individual movers, G4S (LON:GFS) has tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard as investors digested the group’s half-year results.

As of 12:18 BST, the Footsie had given up 62.13 points to stand 0.82 percent lower at 7,480.60. Global sentiment has been subdued today after US President Donald Trump warned North Korea that threats will be met with ‘fire and fury’. Pyongyang meanwhile signalled that it was considering plans for a missile strike on Guam.

“Equity markets have also come under pressure, with the geopolitics bringing the run into record highs on Wall Street to an end,” Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets, said in a note, as quoted by MarketWatch. “However, geopolitically-driven moves tend not to be long lasting in markets and moves are often quickly retraced.”

Shares in London-listed precious metals miners Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) and Fresnillo (LON:FRES) meanwhile have been in demand, with investors flocking to safe haven assets such as gold. Fresnillo’s share price is 2.51 percent up at 1,515.00p, while shares in Randgold are changing hands 2.52 percent higher at 7,360.25p.

In individual stock news, G4S has lost 6.20 percent to 310.10p despite reporting a rise in profits for the six months to June 30.

“Interim EPS is in line with expectations but organic revenue growth slowed considerably in Q2, mainly due to emerging markets, and comparables are tougher in H2,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note, as quoted by Reuters. “In addition, working capital disappointed and the pension deficit increased.”

The FTSE 100 was 0.71 percent down at 7,488.82 points as of 12:39 BST on Wednesday, 09 August 2017.