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FTSE 100 movers: Banks suffer as US tax reform boosts Ferguson and Ashtead

Fri, 1st Dec 2017 14:29

(ShareCast News) - The UK's FTSE 100 index edged higher in afternoon trading at the end of the week on a quiet day on the corporate news front.

Among the companies which contributed to the slight gain on Friday were Ferguson and Ashtead Group, both seemingly benefiting from growth in the US economy and expected progress in Republican tax reform in the same country.

"As the tax reform wends its way through the US legislative process, Ferguson and Ashtead Group have both seen plenty of buying, with these firms' exposure to the US representing a way for UK investors to reap the possible benefits of higher US growth arising from the reforms," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

Mining group Anglo American trundled higher during the session after it received a favourable broker note from Deutsche Bank. The German bank upgraded the stock recommendation to 'hold' from 'sell', alongside an increase in its target price to 1,400p from 1,300p.

British Airways and Iberia owner IAG was reported to be considering a bid for Austrian airline Niki, sending the stock flying higher in the session.

London Stock Exchange was higher even as its dispute with a key shareholder rumbled on. The LSE was forced to set out the rationale for the departure of chief executive, Xavier Rolet, citing his "operating style" and questions from shareholders about how long he intended to stay. On Friday, Financial Conduct Authority chief Andrew Bailey said he will not intervene in the exchange's appointment of a new CEO as long as the process is "orderly."

Going the other way, the banking sector was seeing sell-offs. Although shareholder normally like to hear about cost-cutting, Royal Bank of Scotland Group was among those after it said it would be closing 259 branches in the UK, alongside the loss of 680 jobs.

Barclays and Lloyds were also in the bottom part of the table, the former after it completed the sale of 7% of its stake in Barclays Africa Group.

Water group Severn Trent was the biggest faller on the day however, slipping more than 2% as it, United Utilities and SSE were all seen affected by research from Citigroup. The bank highlighted the risk of shares drifting lower in the absence of newsflow.

FTSE 100 - Risers

Convatec Group (CTEC) 200.10p 3.14%

Anglo American (AAL) 1,398.50p 2.91%

Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,940.00p 2.16%

Worldpay Group (WPG) 430.10p 1.92%

London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 3,848.00p 1.83%

British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,773.50p 1.80%

Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 8,470.00p 1.74%

easyJet (EZJ) 1,429.00p 1.64%

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,299.50p 1.56%

Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,552.00p 1.44%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Severn Trent (SVT) 2,048.00p -2.43%

SSE (SSE) 1,343.00p -1.90%

United Utilities Group (UU.) 805.00p -1.89%

Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,987.00p -1.45%

Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,907.00p -1.39%

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 845.50p -1.34%

G4S (GFS) 253.30p -1.29%

Legal & General Group (LGEN) 263.90p -1.24%

Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,341.00p -1.18%

GKN (GKN) 306.50p -1.16%

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