After a positive start the FTSE found it difficult to maintain its early gains as the morning went on, slipping back below 7300 in the process. It marks yet another morning where it has underperformed its peers, the UK index constantly struggling to take off in quite the same way as its Eurozone or US counterparts.
There appears to be 2 main reasons for the FTSE’s sluggishness this Monday. Firstly, the rather substantial 7% loss by Unilever following Kraft Heinz’s abandoned merger attempt – though it must be noted that the Marmite maker has still benefited from the bid, keeping hold of a decent chunk of last Friday’s growth. Secondly the pound has clawed back a portion of the losses it incurred following last week’s disappointing retail sales, with sterling climbing 0.4% against the dollar and 0.3% against the euro.
Over in the Eurozone things were a bit perkier. While the CAC saw its gains shrink to 0.2%, with investors’ appetite for the French index no doubt supressed by news that Marine Le Pen leads in a recent presidential poll, the DAX held onto a 0.7% rise. The Eurozone may be the main focus for investors this afternoon as Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem holds a press conference after lunch, with the Greek debt crisis likely top of the agenda.