FTSE Gains as Reckitt Posts Strong Sales

Tue, 16th Feb 2016

The FTSE 100 put in a strong performance during the first half of trading on Monday, gaining 2.1 percent after Reckitt Benckiser posted better than expected full-year sales. HSBC, Standard Chartered and Prudential were also strong performers.

The UK’s leading index is gradually recovering after hitting a three-year low at the start of the month. Consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser rose by 6.7 percent during the first half of trading, after announcing that it had seen better than expected full-year sales, thanks to its decision to focus on consumer health products.

Meanwhile, HSBC advanced by 0.7 percent, with Prudential and Standard Chartered also profiting, thanks to gains in the Hong Kong markets, which are an important base of operations for them. HSBC noted that it plans to keep its headquarters in Britain. Royal Dutch Shell gained 0.8 percent, after securing a $53 billion deal to acquire BG Group on Monday. This makes the company the leading liquefied natural gas company in the world, and will help to bolster it against the challenges of falling oil prices over the next few years.

Barclays cut its 2016 earnings estimates for Shell, but noted that the synergies created in the deal would help to boost the company’s profits between 2017 and 2019.

Overall, the FTSE 100 is down by about 7 percent since the start of the year, and is still 20 percent from the record high that was set 14 months ago, leaving the index in a bear market.

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