The UK stocks were more or less unchanged, after experiencing losses for 4 straight days. On the other hand, the economic reports in the US missed the forecasts offsetting the rallies of companies such as Vodafone Group and GlaxoSmithKline. The benchmark gauge FTSE 100 Index went down by less than 0.1% on today and it is currently at 6,243.67. It pared the gain of around 0.5% after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index missed the forecasts. Despite today’s slight loss, the gauge has been able to go ahead by 5.9% in 2013. On the other hand, the broader FTSE All-Share Index increased by 0.1% on today and the benchmark gauge of Ireland, ISEQ Index went down by 0.2%.
According to the Fund Manager at Storebrand Asset Management, Espen Furnes, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is indicating that the manufacturing sector is currently experiencing a slowdown. Thereby the recent optimism among investors towards the US growth is kind of taken away. Espen added that the investors will now be pretty cautious ahead of the big wave of earnings coming in the next few weeks.
The index of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia went down to 1.3 in month of April, from its earlier value of 2 in March. Incidentally, any reading above 0 indicates that the manufacturing in the area has expanded. However, the reading is still low than the initially forecasted 3.
Among companies, GlaxoSmithKline was able to rise to its highest price since 2002 as a regulatory panel recommended lung disorder drug for approval, produced by the company. On the other hand, as Verizon Communications Inc. announced that they are interested to buy out the stake of Vodafone in their wireless joint venture in US, the British company’s stocks went ahead by 1.7%. Apart from that, pacing the decline by the commodity producers, Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. went down by 4.3%.
Marking its biggest rally since 25th October, Debenhams Plc. increased by 4.9% and the same is now at 84.45 Pence per share. The 2nd largest clothing retailer in UK reported that the 1st half fiscal profit excluding taxes will be of 120.3 million Pounds and this helped the shares of the same. The profit estimates are along the lines with the forecast that the company presented on 4th March.