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U.K shares fell in early trade on Wednesday, dragged down by disappointing earnings results and a slight pickup in the British Pound following data over the U.K labor market.
The FTSE 100 index slid 0.12% to 6991.35, moving closer to its 50-day moving average. Shares of Travis Perkins topped the list of decliners on the market, dropping more than 7% after the builder merchant issued a profit warning. The firm said it was closing 30 branches, which will lead to the loss of 600 jobs, due to an “uncertain UK outlook” next year. Travis Perkins forecast its annual adjusted profit for this year may fall below consensus of about £415 million.
Reckitt Benckiser was the runner-up in the race to “biggest loser” title. The consumer goods company’s stocks were down 2.55% after its sales were reported to miss projections for the second straight quarter as demand dropped significantly in Russia and South Korea.
Reckitt Benckiser has faced plummeting sales in South Korea following the deaths of over 100 people which were related to toxic humidifier sanitizers it once sold. Chief Executive Officer Rakesh Kapoor has apologized for the tragedy, but boycotts still cost the company by 1.5 percentage points of its third-quarter sales. Consequences of the case may last longer with further liability resulted from wider legal or governmental investigation, the company said.
Reckitt Benckiser downgraded its full-year sales growth forecast of 4 percent, the low end of its previous projections.
The pound fluctuated on Wednesday after a report by the Office for National Statistics said that the U.K.’s unemployment rate held steady in the three months to August. The jobless rate for the June-August period stood at 4.9%, unchanged from the preceding period, which suggested the labor market was barely affected by the Brexit.
The claimant count which reflects changes in the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits inched up slightly by 700 in September, significantly less than market’s forecast.
Fig: FTSE 100 H4 Technical Chart
FTSE 100 index fell off from 7000.00 threshold and has crossed over both long-term and short-term moving averages. With lower highs which suggests stronger bears, the index is expected to fall lower. The stochastic chart also consolidates the downtrend with its lines are heading downwards.
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