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FTSE 100 watch: Footsie steady as sterling retreats

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The UK benchmark index has climbed higher this Wednesday, benefitting from upbeat leads in the US and Asia, and weakness in the pound. Tesco (LON:TSCO), however, is underperforming the FTSE 100 despite delivering a rise in interim profits.

FTSE 100 steady

As of 13:34 BST, the Footsie had added 37.42 points to stand 0.50 percent higher at 7,511.97. The blue-chip index has found support in sterling weakness amid the ongoing Conservative party conference.  

“Brexit will continue to be the principle driving force for sterling,” Jasper Lawler, analyst at London Capital Group, commented, as quoted by Reuters. “All eyes will be on Theresa May as the Conservative party annual conference enters into its final day.”

Individual movers

Tesco has been one of today’s most prominent blue-chip fallers after its first-half profits fell short of analyst estimates. The BBC quoted Neil Wilson of Markets.com as commenting that investors may have been expecting too much of Tesco.

“This looks rather like expectations had maybe been set a little too high, rather than Tesco underperforming,” he pointed out. The supermarket’s shares currently change hands 9.40 percent lower at 213.10p.

Royal Mail (LON:RMG) meanwhile has climbed higher in today’s session, following this week’s hefty selloff after the postal operator warned on profits. The shares are trading 2.17 percent higher at 366.37p, having given up more than a quarter of their value earlier this week.

ITV (LON:ITV) has been another notable riser, with investors welcoming the group’s statement that it does not intend to bid for Endemol Shine, the company  behind programmes such as Big Brother, The Fall, MasterChef and Peaky Blinders. The broadcaster’s stock is 4.09 percent better off at 162.80p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.55 percent up at 7,515.90 points as of 13:51 BST on Wednesday, 03 October 2018.

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