FTSE 100 Fluctuates with Persimmon and Rolls-Royce Named Market Movers

U.K. shares have been trading in a thin range since the start of 2017. The benchmark FTSE 100 pared earlier gains on Thursday, as positive data from IHS Markit, which showed the U.K. services sector last month expanded at the fastest pace since July 2015, failed to offset losses from insurers and Rolls-Royce.

The U.K. services sector PMI rose surprisingly to 56.2 in December from 55.2 in the previous month, spurred by strong new order growth.

Homebuilder Persimmon led the market, jumping almost 5.65 percent after the largest U.K. home-builder by market capitalization issued a positive trading update for the second half of 2016. Persimmon stated that its gross profit margin improved in the second half of the year on lower development costs, sending annual revenue to 3.14 billion pounds ($3.86 billion) for the year ended Dec. 31.

On the contrary, Rolls-Royce led the loser board on Britain’s FTSE 100 index. Shares of the British car manufacturer slumped nearly 4% as JP Morgan Chase & Co cut its price target on the company’s stock.

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