Equities By Region Indices UK

FTSE 100 watch: Footsie tracks US higher after Fed chair comments

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The UK benchmark index has climbed higher in today’s session, taking cues from the US where comments by the Federal Reserve chair boosted market sentiment. In individual movers, Ashtead (LON:AHT) has claimed the top spot at the FTSE 100 leaderboard after unveiling a change at the top.

FTSE 100 climbs higher

As of 12:16 GMT, the Footsie had added 40.22 points to stand 0.57 percent higher at 7,044.74. Sentiment has been upbeat today after Fed chair  Jerome Powell said that interest rates were close to neutral, in a change from previous ‘long way from neutral’ comments.

“A dovish appearance from the Fed chair Powell helped boost stock markets, with the US understandably feeling the full force of that shift,” Joshua Mahoney, market analyst at IG, commented in a note. “Nevertheless, this is helping build hope that we could see the end of recent selling pressure, both in Europe and the US.”

At home, the Bank of England said yesterday that all seven financial institutions tested had passed the bank’s annual health check.

Individual movers

Ashtead has been one of today’s session most notable risers after announcing that  its chief executive officer had decided to step down and will be replaced by the group’s chief operating officer and CEO of Sunbelt Rentals, Ashtead’s North American business. The FTSE 100 company’s shares are 5.41 percent up at 1,821.00p.

Investors are also digesting a change at the top at Unilever (LON:ULVR), whose chief executive of more than a decade Paul Polman is also stepping down, to be succeeded by Alan Jope, currently President, Beauty & Personal Care. Unilever’s shares are underperforming the broader London market, currently changing hands 0.38 percent lower at 4,242.00p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.63 percent up at 7,048.79 points as of 13:03 GMT on Thursday, 29 November 2018.

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