Financial Planning

FTSE 100 edges higher despite Reckitt Benckiser dip

Financial Planning
Published: 18 October 2017

The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) moved higher this morning with the help of a weaker pound which started to fall yesterday after Dave Ramsden, the Bank of England’s new deputy governor, told the Treasury Committee that he didn’t think there would be a rate rise “in the coming months’.

The blue chip share index rose 0.33%, up 24 points at 7,540.88 by 11.04 GMT.

Shares in consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RB) fell 1.1% as the company cut its full-year sales forecast and was now targeting like-for-like net revenue for 2017. Reckitt Benckiser is still recovering from the effects of a cyber attack and a ‘challenging market environment’. Third quarter revenue rose to £3.21 billion but was still dipped 1% year-on-year. CEO Rakesh Kapoor said: “3Q was a soft quarter as we experienced both the tail-end of known issues, and the impact of a continuing challenging market environment. Our underlying performance was in line with current market growth of around 2%. Given these moving parts, we are now targeting flat full year like-for-like net revenue for the Reckitt Benckiser base business.”

Madame Tussauds and Legoland owner Merlin (LON:MERL) shares were extending their losses this morning, down 2.4%, despite upgrades from Credit Suisse and Shore Capital.

Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) shares fell 1.0% as the grocer announced it was cutting 2,000 jobs in the UK from its payroll and HR departments.

Pearson (LON:PSON) shares continued to build on yesterday’s gains, up 2.3%, after a positive reforecast of its full-year earnings with shares closing 7.3% up in the previous session.

The financial sector made the biggest gains on the index with HSBC (LON:HSBA) shares up 0.5%, Legal & General (LON:LGEN) 1.0% and Prudential (LON:PRU) 1.3%.

In the FTSE 250 (INDEXFTSE:MCX), budget carrier Flybe (LON:FLYB) shares collapsed by 14.7% as the company issued a profits warning citing higher maintenance costs as a factor.

On the currency markets, sterling fell against the dollar, down 0.15%, to $1.3169 and was flat at 0.04% against the euro to €1.1213.