Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Uncertainty and caution drag down FTSE 100 blue chips

Royal Bank of Scotland, which last week revealed better-than-expected profits
Royal Bank of Scotland, which last week revealed better-than-expected profits

The FTSE 100 Index struggled for momentum yesterday despite a significant boost to Barclays shares in the wake of better-than-expected results. The 4% shares rise for the banking giant came as investors digested a fresh £900m hit from PPI claims and a decline in half-year revenues from the group's investment bank operation.

Other banks were also higher but the top flight slipped 2.7 points to 6805 due to uncertainty caused by a busy week for US economic updates.

One of the main events will be the latest decision from the US Federal Reserve, with policymakers set to announce a further £10bn tapering of asset purchases after the close of trading in London.

The cautious mood was reflected in the performance of risk-driven stocks, with BHP Billiton down 25.75p to 20702.5p and Glencore off 2.9p to 373.1p.

ITV was among other fallers in the FTSE 100 after it announced a 16% rise in half-year profits to £312m.

Chief executive Adam Crozier reported double-digit profit growth in every area of the business but advertising revenues remain volatile, with first quarter growth of just 2% followed by 13% in the second quarter.

The bank's share of viewing was lower, although Mr Crozier said his vision for the company was unchanged as his five-year turnaround plan draws to a close. Shares were 2.85p lower at 202.15p, a drop of 1.5% but still double the level seen at the start of 2013.

Other fallers included Sainsbury's, which was 6.2p lower at 317.1p, and Marks & Spencer with a decline of 4.4p to 433.6p.

Barclays rose 9.8p to 228.95p as broker Jefferies said a better-than-expected trend for impairments helped profits come in 13% ahead of forecasts.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which last week revealed better-than-expected profits, was 6.95p higher at 360.95p while Lloyds Banking Group was a penny stronger at 76.6p ahead of its own half-year figures.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Comment

More

Company Profiles

More

Help & Advice

More

People on the move

More