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FTSE 100: This morning’s risers and fallers

Lucinda Beeman
Written By:
Lucinda Beeman

UK stocks opened broadly flat on Thursday as investors digested comments from the Federal Reserve and showed caution ahead of the Scottish referendum.

London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.06 per cent at 6,777 in early deals, fluctuating at its lowest levels in nearly a month. The index closed the previous session at 6,780.90 – it has not finished below this mark since 22 August.

Wall Street stocks made small gains on Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at a record high after the Fed maintained its pledge to keep short-term interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” after quantitative easing (QE) ends.

The comments came after the Federal Open Market Committee took another $10bn off of its monthly asset purchase programme to $15bn, leaving it on track to wind up QE next month.

However, while it said it still sees room for improvement in labour market, policymakers lifted their interest rate projections for 2015 and 2016 slightly.

“To be honest, if the Fed’s median projection put the Fed funds rate as high as 1.35% by the end of 2015 then it is hard to see how that is consistent with the first rate hike coming much later than next March,” said Paul Ashworth from Capital Economics.

Meanwhile, the Scottish vote on separating from the UK began on Thursday morning with the result still too close to call given the recent momentum behind the pro-independence campaign in recent weeks. Polls opened at 07:00 and close at 22:00.

“The outcome is uncertain and should it turn out to be a ‘Yes’, it could have significant market impact,” warned analysts at Danske Bank.

Miners track falls in precious metals

A stronger dollar saw the price of gold and silver fall sharply on Thursday, pushing shares in precious metal producers Fresnillo, Randgold Resources, Polymetal and Centamin lower.

The Fed’s increased rate projections were “spurring USD gains which made the safe haven more expensive”, said analyst Mike van Dulken from Accendo Markets, as gold dropped to its lowest level since January.

Budget airline Easyjet was in demand after deciding to increase its payout ratio and said it will return 40 per cent of its profits to shareholders from next year. The company also reached a discounted deal with Airbus to exercise existing purchase rights over 27 current-generation A320 aircraft.

Electronic parts group Premier Farnell declined after saying that profits fell 5% in its first half.

FTSE 100 – Risers
TUI Travel (TT.) 380.00p +3.57%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,370.00p +2.39%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,686.00p +1.87%
Wolseley (WOS) 3,321.00p +1.19%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 358.60p +1.04%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 75.55p +0.95%
Compass Group (CPG) 988.00p +0.76%
Next (NXT) 6,900.00p +0.66%
IMI (IMI) 1,289.00p +0.62%
Kingfisher (KGF) 313.80p +0.58%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
Fresnillo (FRES) 779.00p -2.38%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,475.00p -1.56%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,027.00p -1.25%
G4S (GFS) 254.60p -1.24%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,896.00p -1.10%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 674.00p -1.10%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 176.10p -1.07%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,591.00p -1.07%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,205.00p -1.06%
Centrica (CNA) 316.80p -0.97%

Source: ShareCast