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FTSE 100 preview: Footsie steady even as trade tensions escalate

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The UK benchmark index has climbed marginally higher this Tuesday, holding steady even as trade tensions between the US and China escalated following the latest round of tariffs from Washington. Ocado (LON:OCDO) meanwhile has soared to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after updating investors on its third-quarter performance.

FTSE 100 holds steady

As of 12:16 BST, Britain’s blue-chip index had added 9.66 points to stand 0.13 percent higher at 7,311.76. The Footsie has been trading higher today despite US President Donald Trump’s move to slap extra tariffs on Chinese imports.

“Indeed, the actual range of goods hit with tariffs was less than feared,” Neil Wilson, analyst at, told Reuters. “Exemptions have turned this into something of a ‘sell the rumour, buy the fact’-type scenario for investors.”

Individual stock moves

In individual movers, Ocado has been outperforming the broader UK market today after reporting a rise in retail revenue in the third quarter of its financial year, having benefitted from  new capacity from its robotic warehouses. The online grocer’s shares are currently changing hands 4.45 percent higher at 953.20p.

British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) and Imperial Brands (LON:IMB) meanwhile are proving a drag on the blue-chip index after Morgan Stanley commented on the sector.

“The options for what a smoker can legally inhale, chew or smoke are changing fast, directly disrupting the cash compounding nature of the tobacco industry for investors, companies and governments alike” the bank said, as quoted by Proactive Investors. BAT’s shares have given up 1.35 percent to trade at 3,619.50p, while Imperial Brands’ share price is 1.71 percent worse off at 2,580.50p.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.03 percent up at 7,303.92 points as of 12:44 BST on Tuesday, 18 September 2018.

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