FTSE 100 fallers: why are the Imperial Brands and RBS share prices down this week?

A rudderless Imperial Brands continues to see its shares slide this week, while RBS has also helped to drag the FTSE 100 lower after its profits were eroded by last-minute PPI claims.

The FTSE 100 lost 35 points this week, closing at 7,302. However, the blue-chip index rebounded slightly on Friday due to strong manufacturing data from China.

RBS shares down after PPI wipes out profits

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) fell 5% to 214p this week after the lender reported an operating loss of £8 million in its third quarter.

The disappointing set of results is due, in large part, to a £900 million charge relating to the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).

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Without PPI, and other exceptional costs, the bank would have reported an operating profit of around £1 billion, though that figure would still fall far below market expectations.

Thankfully, the PPI scandal that has plagued the UK banking sector is over, with RBS paying around £6.2 billion in total.

However, RBS continues to contend with a myriad of challenges, with the mortgage market remaining competitive and low interest rates squeezing margins.

Imperial Brands downgrades guidance ahead of full-year earnings

Imperial Brands will unveil its full-year results on Tuesday, with investors concerned about growth due to the clampdown on vaping by US regulators.

‘Imperial Brands shares have a hit an eight-year low this week, with the stock dropping back into the £17.36 support level after a shallow retracement,’ senior market analyst Joshua Mahony said.

‘That looks to continue the wider bearish trend, yet it is worthwhile watching to see whether we break below trendline support or not to signal whether we are going to see a ramp up in selling.’

Investors eagerly await its full-year results to see just how big a toll the ban on vaping products has been on the company’s sales and profits.

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Imperial Brands was forced to downgrade its full-year guidance earlier this year and shortly after its CEO Alison Cooper announced her resignation.

Under her leadership, the firm has made a push towards the vaping market as trends signal a potential decline in the traditional tobacco market. But that move could turn out to be costly if other governments move to ban vaping products.

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