FTSE Flattened, Only Two Names Left In The Green On The Day

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UK equities experienced a widespread decline on Tuesday with only two stocks in the green Centrica & Croda, with the overall blue chip FTSE 100 shedding over 1.2%. This was due to a mix of economic data and growing concerns about conflict in the Middle East affecting market sentiment. Financials, industrials, and mining stocks were the main decliners, while utilities and healthcare sectors held up better as investors sought safer investments. Additionally, strong US economic data from Monday, including higher-than-expected retail sales in March, led some to reconsider their predictions for interest-rate cuts, reflecting confidence in the resilient economy.

Leading the charge lower early in the day Phoenix, a UK insurer, saw a 3.2% decrease in stock, making it one of the top losers on the FTSE 100 index, which is down 1.3%. Barclays has downgraded Phoenix to "underweight" from "overweight" and reduced its price target to 500p from 600p. The brokerage stated that after a positive share price reaction following FY23 results, Phoenix now shows relatively less potential upside than its peers. Barclays also mentioned that with three-year targets arguably only becoming evident in four years' time, there is limited potential for relative outperformance or catalysts. The stock has decreased by approximately 11.6% in the last 12 months as of the last close.

DS Smith's stock price dropped by 2% following the announcement that US competitor International Paper has reached an agreement to acquire the company in a £7.8bn all-share deal. This deal surpasses a previous offer from UK counterpart Mondi, which had agreed to an all-share takeover valued at approximately £6.2bn in March. This occurred shortly before International Paper made its own acquisition approach.

B&M's, the British discount chain, experienced a 2% drop, leading to a year-to-date loss of 7.3%. B&M's is anticipating a 9.8% increase in full-year adjusted EBITDA to 629 million pounds, which is at the top end of the 620-630 million pounds guidance. Jefferies described the forecast as a "limited positive surprise" as it was already expected by consensus, although the shares have been underperforming leading up to this update. B&M's reported a revenue increase of over 10% for FY24, aided by an extra week of trading and early Easter timing, which will not be repeated in FY25. J.P. Morgan views the update as uneventful overall, but still sees potential risk to FY25 expectations.


FTSE Bias: Bullish Above Bearish below 7900

  • Below 7770 opens 7700
  • Primary support 7775
  • Primary objective 8059
  • 5 Day VWAP bearish
  • 20 Day VWAP bullish

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