By Samuel Indyk
Investing.com – The FTSE 100 had a remarkably quiet day, trading in a narrow range for much of the session amid few catalysts for a firm move higher or lower. Coca Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH), a UK-listed anchor bottler for Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), was the best performing stock in the blue-chip index following a trading update pre-market.
AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) (NASDAQ:AZN) shares finished the session broadly unchanged near a ten-month low after earnings results. Despite the company providing a vaccine for the coronavirus, shares have struggled to gain any momentum as the company offered to sell the vaccine to countries at cost. Not all the other vaccine makers have followed AstraZeneca’s lead. Despite this, AstraZeneca has arguably come up against greater scrutiny than their counterparts due to manufacturing and supply issues in Europe and as the efficacy of their vaccine is slightly lower than peers.
Travel & Leisure names slump
Some shares in the FTSE 350 Travel & Leisure sector were weak with Marston’s PLC (LON:MARS) shedding around 12% at the close of play. The company was informed by Platinum Equity Advisors that they are walking away from a potential takeover. The most recent proposal was for £1.05/per share which valued the company at £690mln and was rejected by the board earlier this month. Another pub chain and brewery, Mitchells & Butlers (LON:MAB), fell in sympathy.
Another company that saw shares decline was SSP Group PLC (LON:SSPG). The owner of brands such as Upper Crust and Ritazza said they were evaluating the merits of a range of funding options, both debt and equity, that would strengthen the balance sheet. The company has seen business slump given it operates its concessions mainly in train stations, airports and service stations.
In FX markets, the USD is flat after the weekly initial jobless claims figures were higher than expected while the previous week’s figures were also revised upwards. GBP/USD trades slightly lower on the day but holds above 1.3800 and remains the best performing G10 currency this year.
Bitcoin has seen another surge on Thursday on what has been a memorable week already. Fuelling the gains today were reports that Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) plans to provide cryptocurrency services to its asset management clients. That came after Mastercard (NYSE:MA) said late on Wednesday that it planned on allowing some merchants to accept cryptocurrencies on its network later this year. All the recent news about cryptocurrency adoption from some of the largest names in tech and finance continues to give corporate credibility to digital assets.
FTSE 100 finishes flat, bitcoin hits new record high
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.