Markets

The FTSE 100 has closed lower as sterling rises and results disappoint

The UK's blue-chip index closed slightly lower today as investors picked apart a string of companies' full-year results.

There were a couple of reasons for the FTSE's decline today though, according to Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at Spreadex.

"Primary among them was the fact sterling found itself 0.2 per cent higher against the dollar and up 0.4 per cent against the euro, the latter suffering after a disappointing Eurozone inflation reading," Campbell said.

"On top of that came the 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent drops seen by RBS and IAG respectively, investors choosing to focus on the negatives rather than the rather healthy news posted by both companies."

British Airways owner IAG was set to be the biggest loser today with its shares having shed nearly six per cent despite a generally positive set of results.

Royal Bank of Scotland was another top faller despite posting its first profit in a decade on fears of fines from the US Department of Justice.

On the positive side, BT Group was up more than five per cent on an announcement from the regulator on the price it can charge its rivals to use its network.

Michael Hewson, the chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said investors were taking a breather this week after the turmoil seen earlier this month.

"It’s been a rather mixed week for European stocks after last week’s rebound with the Dax and Cac 40 looking set for a modest weekly advance, while the FTSE 100 has lagged behind," Hewson said.

"This week’s price action has been a much more modest affair when compared to the preceding three weeks with punch drunk investors probably using the opportunity to take a bit of a breather in order to reassess their options."

Read more: What really caused the FTSE 100 'wobble'?

Original Article

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