FTSE lower on RBS, NMC and AstraZeneca

Negative company news is dragging down the FTSE even as the Chinese virus outbreak is showing signs of containment.

Negative company news is dragging down the FTSE even as the Chinese virus outbreak is showing signs of containment.

Royal Bank of Scotland lost 5.4% in early trading after the majority state-owned banking group reported an increased profit for the fourth quarter but reduced its medium-term returns target. Shares in the embattled health operator NMC Health also dropped after the vice chair Khalifa Butti Omeir Bin Yousef resigned from his position, only days after the company’s co-founder B.R. Shetty left the board after admitting to potentially inaccurately reporting his holdings in the company. AstraZeneca also took a hit in its share price having reported a drop in core operating profits and missing expectations.

Brent crude steadies as Russia decision expected

The slide in Brent crude prices has stopped for the moment and prices seem to have stabilised just above the $56/bbl mark thanks to the slowdown of the spread of the coronavirus in China. A large part of China’s industrial production has come back on line this week or is due to restart over the next three days after several weeks of closures. OPEC and Russia have yet to come to some agreement over whether the extended producer group will increase its existing production cuts to counter the decline in oil prices. Russia is dragging its feet and even a meeting between the country’s energy minister and main oil producers has not yielded an answer to OPEC’s proposal to reign in production by another 600,000bbl/d. WTI is also marginally higher, trading close to $51.50.

The pound perked up overnight at the prospect of higher government spending under the new Chancellor of the Exchequer but has since given up about 0.1% against the dollar, settling just above the $1.3 mark.

Build your confidence risk free
Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.