FTSE drops more than 1% after weak US data

Thu, 18th Feb 2021

FTSE drops more than 1% after weak US data The FTSE 100 surrendered its gains from earlier in the week to trade down 1.4% at 6,617.15 by the close. This followed a weaker than expected update on the US jobs market. This helped sustain gains for sterling against the dollar with the exchange rate very close to the $1.40 mark last seen in 2018. A strong pound impacts the relative value of the overseas earnings which dominate the FTSE. By 4.30pm UK time the S&P 500 was down 0.8% to 3,900.12. Medical technology company Smith & Nephew fell 5.9% to £14.75 as it reported a 42% fall in trading profits as consequences of the pandemic lead to a decreased revenue across the group as well as lower gross margins. Hays fell 3% to 153.3p despite reporting a sharp fall in first-half profit. The recruitment company vowed to resume its dividend payments later this year in August, citing a stronger recovery in the second quarter. Barclays fell 4.4% to 147.5p as profit was hit by £4.8 billion in bad loan provisions, though the company did resume dividend payments and announced a share buyback. Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket.com was up 7.1% to 287p following a slump in profits in 2020 fuelled by the impact of Coronavirus and lockdowns in the UK. Profits at the company fell 27% to £69.3 million, from £94.9 million in 2019. Drug maker Indivior swung to a loss in 2020 as revenue slipped amid competition from generic drugs to treat opioid dependence. For the year ended 31 December, the company reported a pre-tax loss $173 million, compared with a profit of $180 million year-on-year as revenue slipped to $647 million. Its share price sunk 6.5% to 139.3p. Property investment trust Primary Health Properties has seen positive growth across its balance sheet, driven by a year of strong demand and improved management structure. Its share price remained stable at 148.60p on the back of the announcement. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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