FTSE 100 watch: Weaker pound props up Footsie

on Sep 27, 2017

The UK benchmark index has gained ground in today’s trading, finding support in a weaker pound, with sterling slipping against the greenback in the wake of hawkish comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. In individual stock news, Pearson (LON:PSON) has been one of today’s biggest FTSE 100 risers following a rating upgrade at Exane BNP Paribas.

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As of 12:57 BST, Britain’s blue-chip index had added 25.10 points to stand 0.34 percent higher at 7,310.84, finding support in a drop in the pound which is fuelling demand for blue-chip stocks with international exposure.

“Softer pound translates into a better FTSE-appetite in London, although the overall lack of enthusiasm across the equity markets could limit gains,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Market Analyst at London Capital Group, as quoted by Reuters.

MarketBeat meanwhile quoted analysts at Accendo Markets as pointing out that the gain in the FTSE 100 “can be derived from a hawkish Fed Chair Yellen (and colleague Bostic) supporting continued gradual rate hikes (market implied probability of December rate hike now 70 percent)”.

“This has firmed the USD to the detriment of GBP and EUR, but to the benefit of the both benchmarks’ internationals/exporters,” they added.

In individual movers, Pearson has advanced after analysts at Exane BNP Paribas turned bullish on the stock, hiking their rating on the blue-chip publisher to ‘outperform’. Proactive Investors quoted the broker’s analyst Sami Kassab as saying that the US higher education publishing market had ‘returned to stability’ over the summer which should bode well for the group’s third quarter results. Pearson’s share price is currently 4.48 percent better off at 610.00p.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.36 percent up at 7,312.01 points as of 13:09 BST on Wednesday, 27 September 2017.