Britain’s FTSE slips as defensive stocks fall

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down by 0.2 per cent today. — Reuters file picThe blue-chip FTSE 100 was down by 0.2 per cent today. — Reuters file pic

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down by 0.2 per cent, or 13.76 points lower, at 6,263.30 points.

Falls in telecoms group Vodafone, healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline and global bank HSBC - often considered as defensive stocks due to their resilience to any economic downturn - took the most points off the index.

However, Barclays rose 0.5 per cent after unveiling new cost-cutting measures in a strategic review that will see the British bank cut 3,700 jobs.

According to Thomson Reuters Starmine data, out of the companies on the UK stock market to have reported fourth-quarter results so far, 46 per cent of them have reported results below market forecasts although the majority have reported results either in-line or above forecasts.

Mike Mason, senior dealer at Sucden Financial Private Clients, said there was little fresh impetus at present to be able to push the FTSE 100 back above the psychologically important 6,300 point level reached earlier this month.

"The market is pausing for breath and consolidating just below the 6,300 point level," he said. — Reuters


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