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FTSE 100 watch: Footsie subdued as Brexit fears prevail

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The FTSE 100 has fallen into the red this Tuesday, giving up some of the previous session’s gains, pressured by the ongoing Brexit turmoil. In individual blue-chip movers, Ferguson (LON:FERG) is outperforming the market with investors cheering the company’s plans to spin off its Wolseley UK business, as well as an upcoming change at the top.

FTSE 100 trades lower

As of 10:39 BST, the Footsie had given up 7.78 points to stand 0.11 percent lower at 7,274.16. Sentiment has been subdued today with investors digesting the prospects of a potential general election in the UK.

“In the short term, for many the idea that [Labour leader Jeremy] Corbyn will possibly be the next PM is more scary than a no-deal Brexit,” said Markus Huber, trader at City of London Markets, as quoted by Reuters.

Neil Wilson, analyst at Markets.com, also commented that “the risk of Corbyn to UK assets is probably greater than a no-deal Brexit, after all,” as quoted by Proactive Investors.

Individual Footsie movers

In individual FTSE 100 movers, Ferguson is rallying after announcing plans unveiled plans to demerge its UK operations as it looks to focus on its operations on the other side of the Atlantic.

“This will be music to the ears of American activist investor Nelson Peltz, whose Train Partners vehicle took a six-percent stake in June and pointed out that Ferguson traded at a substantial valuation discount relative to its US peers,” AJ Bell’s Russ Mould commented in a note, as quoted by Proactive Investors. Ferguson’s shares are changing hands 3.16 percent higher at 6,334.00p.

DS Smith (LON:SMDS) meanwhile is in the doldrums as it posted a trading update covering the period since May 1. The company’s chief executive Miles Roberts pointed to “volatility in the macro-economic environment and input costs”. DS Smith’s share price is 2.78 percent lower at 332.10p.

The FTSE 100 was 0.25 percent down at 7,263.96 points as of 13:19 BST on Tuesday, 03 September 2019.

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