FTSE Calm As EasyJet Rises

Mon, 24th Oct 2016

The UK’s leading index got off to a muted start on Monday morning, moving very little by the end of the morning part of the trading session. Easyjet put in a strong performance, gaining 2.8 percent after a broker upgrade earned it a ‘buy’ rating, but shares elsewhere were mixed. Shares in French Connection performed well after talk of a takeover made headlines.

The pound gained slightly against the dollar - but is still hovering at $1.2241, under the $1.23 level, and remained steady against the euro.

Pharmaceutical companies were some of the poorest performers of the day, with Shire down by 2 percent, Hikma down by 1.5 percent, and AstraZeneca down by 1.4 percent. The worst performer of the day, though, was British American Tobacco, who is down by more than two percent. The company was the biggest faller in the index by far, as investors responded to the news that the cigarette company is planning a merger with US based rival Reynolds.

In other news, UK industrial orders have fallen sharply over the last month, while US manufacturing output is strong, and has hit a one year high. The headline PMI increased from 51.5 to 53.2 during October. Any figure over 50 is an indicator that there has been growth in the sector. Meanwhile, European bank stocks are slowly recovering, clawing their way back up to pre-Brexit levels. Euro-zone business activity expanded over the course of the month, putting in its best performance of the year.

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