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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Indexes  >  FTSE 100 Index    F100   GB0001383545


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FTSE 100 reverses course to end lower on Imperial slump

02/20/2020 | 12:14pm EST
FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain

London's FTSE 100 handed back earlier gains to record losses on Thursday as a 7.3% fall in tobacco giant Imperial Brands overshadowed a 10% leap in medical products maker Smith+Nephew.

The blue-chip index slipped 0.3% as Imperial Brands tumbled on ex-dividend trading, while most other sectors also traded in the red with a surge in coronavirus infections in South Korea stoking fears about a deepening health crisis.

Smith+Nephew hit an all-time high and helped limit losses on the index after the medical products maker forecast another year of revenue growth.

The FTSE 250 midcap index ended the day with a 0.1% rise, led by a 19% surge in price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com following upbeat outlook and a 7% jump in engineering firm Spectris after 2019 results.

For the most part, the British indexes have drawn support this week from stimulus measures from China, which cut its benchmark lending rate to cushion the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

Both indexes are headed for a week of gains.

"Investors are making a number of significant assumptions that governments and central banks will be able to mitigate the effects of any disruption in the short and medium term," CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

"Time will tell whether that is a safe assumption to make, however in the absence of anywhere else to put one's money, the line of least resistance for now appears to be to buy stocks."

Among other notable gainers on the main index were defence firm BAE Systems and lender Lloyds with gains of 3% and 1.4%, respectively, after their annual results.

However, the FTSE 100's losses were deepened by 1%-1.7% falls in GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever, whose stocks also traded without dividend entitlement.

Small-cap bathroom and kitchen products supplier Norcros slid 11% after it warned annual profit would miss market expectations and supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus outbreak would likely hit performance.

By Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BAE SYSTEMS PLC -0.17% 479.1 Delayed Quote.-1.98%
CMC MARKETS PLC -5.38% 387 Delayed Quote.-1.02%
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC 1.13% 1380.2 Delayed Quote.2.85%
IMPERIAL BRANDS PLC 0.58% 1649.5 Delayed Quote.7.42%
LLOYDS BANKING GROUP PLC -1.54% 34.77 Delayed Quote.-4.58%
MONEYSUPERMARKET.COM GROUP PLC 0.97% 271 Delayed Quote.3.99%
MSCI UNITED KINGDOM (STRD, UHD) -0.69% 1069.389 Real-time Quote.4.45%
NORCROS PLC 0.00% 215 Delayed Quote.6.57%
ONE STOP SYSTEMS, INC. -1.23% 4 Delayed Quote.0.00%
SMITH & NEPHEW PLC 1.79% 1653.5 Delayed Quote.9.50%
SPECTRIS PLC -0.45% 3086 Delayed Quote.9.51%
UNILEVER PLC 0.57% 4378 Delayed Quote.-0.32%
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RELX PLC 1869.5 Delayed Quote.2.75%
SSE PLC 1547 Delayed Quote.2.55%
ASHTEAD GROUP PLC 3832 Delayed Quote.1.91%
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NEXT PLC 7914 Delayed Quote.-2.99%
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