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FTSE 100 watch: Footsie subdued amid US-China worries

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The UK benchmark index has slipped marginally into the red in today’s session, pressured by worries over the trade negotiations between the US and China. In individual FTSE 100 movers, Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT) has lost ground following downbeat analyst comments.

FTSE 100 inches lower

As of 12:32 BST, the Footsie had given up 9.10 points to stand 0.12 percent lower at 7,778.87. The blue-chip index has been subdued today, following a downbeat from the US, after President Donald Trump signalled that he doubted that the country’s trade talks with China would be successful. Despite today’s decline, the blue-chip index remains on track for a gain this week, having found support in company results and stronger oil prices.

Individual Footsie movers

In individual blue-chip movers, Johnson Matthey has been one of today’s most notable fallers following a note from UBS which listed ‘three reasons to sell’ the stock. Reuters quoted the analysts as explaining that the company’s board would likely need to raise capital expenditure expectations to cement its credibility as a supplier to global automakers.

“Competitor Umicore has significantly expanded its ambitions in battery materials during 2018,” the broker pointed out, adding that the Belgian chemicals company was targeting larger volumes of cathode production. Johnson Matthey’s share price currently stands 1.92 percent lower at 3,475.00p.

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) has been another prominent FTSE 100 faller after posting a fall in revenue and earnings, having suffered from lower sales of its flagship cholesterol drug Crestor, which has been under pressure due to competition from cheaper generics. AstraZeneca’s shares are 2.41 percent worse off at 5,216.00p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.12 percent down at 7,778.49 points as of 12:44 BST on Friday, 18 May 2018.

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