FTSE 100 risers and fallers: DS Smith and Antofagasta lead the pack

This week saw the blue-chip index edge a touch higher supported by British packaging business DS Smith, while its gains were offset by double-digit decline for doorstep lender Provident Financial.

FTSE 100 Source: Bloomberg

The FTSE 100 is on track to end the week only a touch above where it started, with the index opening on Monday morning at 7,331 points and hovering around 7,336 levels as of 15:00 GMT on Friday.

This week saw the blue-chip index climb to a high of 7,417 on Tuesday, though those gains were slowly eroded throughout the remaining sessions with traders appearing to be in a subdued mood.

Investors lack of appetite to drive the FTSE 100 higher this week is certainly understandable, especially after a no-deal Brexit looks increasingly likely since Boris Johnson came out on top in the first round of the Conservative leadership race.

FTSE 100 risers

Leading the pack this week was British-based packaging company DS Smith, which saw its shar price rise by more than 5.5% to 352p a share.

The company was buoyed by a strong set of results on Thursday, with the packaging business expecting higher cost synergies from its takeover of Spain-based rival Europac, which it acquired back in January for €1.7 billion (£1.5 billion).

DS Smith could have seen even bigger gains this week, but Brexit chaos has once again spoilt the party, with the company stockpiling materials in anticipation of a disorderly exit from the EU. Nevertheless, JPMorgan forecasts full-year 2020 EBITDA to hit £721m, rising to £775m in 2021.

Other notable winners this week include international copper producer Antofagasta and online food delivery service Just Eat, with both seeing their respective share prices climb more than 5% this week.

FTSE 100 fallers

Doing its best to drag the FTSE 100 lower this week is British homebuilder Persimmon and British American Tobacco, which have both seen their stocks lose more than 4% of its value over the last five trading sessions.

The driving force behind Persimmon’s decline this week comes from a National Audit Office report that found that the government’s help-to-buy scheme exposed it to ‘significant market risk’, with many homeowners’ potentially left with negativity equity if house prices decline.

British American Tobacco saw its share price slide this week after it unveiled its half-year results, with sales growth of vaping products unable to quell investors’ fears over declining cigarette revenues.

Data from Nielson showed that tobacco sales continue to decline on a month-on-month basis in the US market which BAT relies on for generating around 40% of its total sales.

BAT continues to invest heavily to drive growth in e-cigarettes in the US, but regulators have threatened to impose new rules restricting vaping products and even proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes in a bid to quell young people smoking.

This challenging environment to growth in the US has led many analysts and investors to doubt BAT’s sales forecasts for new categories.


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