View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a654732
FTSE investors press pause ahead of Fed meeting
'Buy' recommendation lifts WPP, but miners weigh on FTSE.
Britain’s FTSE 100, which has rallied strongly so far this year, started Wednesday trading flat as investors paused for thought ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy-setting meeting and a string of important economic data.
Amid a growing debate about whether markets can continue pushing higher or are due a correction, the UK benchmark index stood firm at 6,340, unchanged after yesterday’s rally. European markets were similarly little changed – unmoved by a report showing the Spanish economy shrunk for a sixth straight quarter – despite strength on Asian and US markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average scaling a five-year high on strong corporate earnings.
In currency markets, the British pound was down yet again, off 0.1% against the dollar to $1.5744 and down 0.2% against the euro to €1.1661.
Miners hold FTSE back
Imperial Tobacco (IMT.L) was trading lower after reporting net revenues of just 2% in the last three months of 2012, with volumes down 1%. ‘Market trends have worsened in a number of key markets including in the EU and Russia,’ the group reported.
Analysts at Nomura listed the reasons why the tobacco blue chip could be in for a ‘de-rating’, including: ‘top-line focus falling short, margin pressures owing to cost of increased investment, western European exposure where conditions are worsening.’
WPP & UU compete for top spot
At the other end, WPP (WPP.L) was among the top risers, with shares up 1.1% to 748p after Jefferies analysts raised the shares to a ‘buy’ after an ‘analysis of WPP's largest clients and their 2013 ad budgets’.
Water company United Utilities (UU.L) was 1% higher to 748p after reporting an in-line interim management statement. Angelos Anastasiou of Seymour Pierce said the statement was as expected and ‘UU remains the least expensive of the Waters’.
Computer chip designer Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) was also having a good day, up 7.7% to 475p as Morgan Stanley raised the shares from ‘equal-weight’ to ‘overweight’
Investors are now looking ahead to the meeting of the Federal Reserve’s FOMC, which decides on US monetary policy, as well as data on US economic growth in the last three months of 2012.
News sponsored by:
Making the most out of Europe's potential means seeing things differently. Learn more about how BlackRock's focused approach to investing in Europe helps investors unlock the continent's vast potential.
In this guide to investment trusts, produced in association with Aberdeen Asset Management, we spoke to many of the leading experts in the field to find out more.
More about this:
Look up the shares
- WPP PLC (WPP.L)
- United Utilities Group PLC (UU.L)
- Petrofac Ltd (PFC.L)
- Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.L)
- Imagination Technologies Group PLC (IMG.L)
- Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (IMT.L)
More from us
- The Accumulator: managers worry as markets threaten to overheat
- Week Ahead: big questions for investors
Tools from Citywire Money
From the Forums
Weekly email from The Lolly
Get simple, easy ways to make more from your money. Just enter your email address below
An error occured while subscribing your email. Please try again later.
Thank you for registering for your weekly newsletter from The Lolly.
Keep an eye out for us in your inbox, and please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list so we don't get junked.