Financial Planning

FTSE 100 holds steady as HSBC and Standard Chartered weigh

Financial Planning
Published: 12 October 2017

The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) remained at a two-month high in early trading despite losses in the banking sector and a strengthening pound.

The blue chip share index rose 0.11%, up 8 points at 7,542.41 by 10.46 GMT.

The banks weighed heavily on the index as shares in Asian-facing banks HSBC (LON:HSBA) fell 1.1% and Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) dropped 0.7%. The boost for sterling will have implications for their earnings abroad as they are repatriated to the UK but both banks have gained around 14% this year.

The biggest winner this morning was budget carrier easyJet (LON:EZJ) as shares rose 2.5% on the news it is negotiating with insolvent Air Berlin to acquire its last 20-30 aircraft. Lufthansa has also agreed a deal to buy large parts of Air Berlin and any consolidation in the sector is viewed as positive by analysts.

The gold miners shares were also among the biggest gainers as the spot price rose from $1,288.97 to $1,296.60. Fresnillo (LON:FRES) was up 1.2% and Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) 0.7%.

In the FTSE 250 (INDEXFTSE:MCX), shares in online takeaway company Just Eat (LON:JE) jumped 5.1% as it received provisional clearance from the UK Competition & Markets Authority to acquire rival Hungryhouse. The CMA said that Hungryhouse is not a big enough competitor as it “much smaller in size and offers too few unique restaurants, making it increasingly difficult for Hungryhouse to attract and retain consumers.”

On the currency markets, sterling rose against the dollar, up 0.11%, to $1.3235 and also up 0.16% against the euro to €1.1165.