Equities By Region Indices UK

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie subdued as Brexit deal hopes buoy sterling

The UK benchmark index has slipped marginally into the red in today’s session, pressured by a rise in sterling, with investors continuing to monitor the ongoing Brexit developments. Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco (LON:TSCO) meanwhile has tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard following the latest industry data from Kantar Worldpanel.

FTSE 100 inches lower

As of 12:50 BST, the Footsie had given up 5.36 points to stand 0.08 percent lower at 7,023.86, pressured by a rise in the pound. Reuters reports that Britain’s currency has strengthened ahead of tomorrow’s EU summit at which some traders remain hopeful of a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations. Investors are also staying on the sidelines ahead of the upcoming earnings season.

“The earnings season will be vitally important to UK indices given the nervous sentiment around the Brexit outcome and health of the broader European growth story,” Edward Park, investment director at Brooks Macdonald, told Reuters.

Individual blue-chip movers

In individual blue-chip movers, shares in Tesco have given up 3.98 percent to 207.40p so far today after the latest Kantar Worldpanel data showed that supermarket spending had cooled off in the 12 weeks to October 7. Britain’s biggest supermarket meanwhile saw its market share fall by 0.6 percentage points to 27.4 percent during the reported period.

British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) has been another prominent blue-chip faller after saying that it expects currency headwinds to weigh on its earnings growth this year, while revenue from its next generation products is set to fall short of analyst estimates. The tobacco maker’s shares are changing hands 1.52 percent in the red at 3,280.50p.

The FTSE 100 index was 0.04 percent down at 7,026.45p as of 13:01 BST on Tuesday, 16 October 2018.

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