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    AZN   GB0009895292

ASTRAZENECA PLC

(AZN)
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FTSE slides after BOE meeting as pound pops higher

02/08/2018 | 12:08pm EST
A worker shelters from the rain as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London

MILAN/LONDON (Reuters) - The UK's top share index fell on Thursday after the Bank of England raised the prospect of higher interest rates, sending the pound higher which weighed on big British overseas earners.

The FTSE <.FTSE> was closed 1.5 percent lower at 7,170.69 points. The index is down 6.7 percent in the year to date, making it the worst performer among top European bourses.

The Bank of England said that interest rates probably need to rise sooner and by a bit more than it thought only three months ago, which boosted sterling.

The rise in the currency weighed on the FTSE's predominantly dollar-earning firms, with shares in heavyweight consumer staples British American Tobacco (>> British American Tobacco), Reckitt Benckiser (>> Reckitt Benckiser) and Unilever (>> Unilever) dropping 1.8 percent to 3.2 percent.

"We are growing cautious on those companies which rely heavily on overseas earnings, as rising interest rates could cause the pound to strengthen further from here," Andrew Morgan, portfolio manager of Alpha:r² at Walker Crips, said.

"We continue to be relatively defensively positioned in equities, despite the recent dip, and are looking at certain sectors - such as Financials - which tend to benefit from a rising interest rate environment," Morgan added.

On the day shares in banking stocks RBS (>> Royal Bank of Scotland Group), Barclays (>> Barclays) and Lloyds (>> Lloyds Banking Group) were among the dozen or so stocks in positive territory, up 0.4 percent to 1 percent.

GlaxoSmithKline (>> GlaxoSmithKline) was another riser, up 1.4 percent after U.S. regulators delayed approval of a generic copy from Novartis of its blockbuster Advair lung drug and after the group took legal action against Gilead Sciences (>> Gilead Sciences) over a new HIV drug.

The news helped build confidence after an upbeat results presentation by GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday. Competitive threats to its respiratory and HIV businesses are seen as key risks for the company's stock.

AstraZeneca (>> AstraZeneca) rose 1.2 percent, boosted by a price target upgrade from Berenberg.

WPP (>> WPP Group) rose 3.1 percent following a reassuring update from French peer Publicis (>> Publicis Groupe), while Compass (>> Compass Group plc), the world's biggest catering firm, jumped more than 5 percent after it raised its expectations for revenue growth.

Their gains however were more than offset by broad-based weakness as markets remained nervous following a sell-off earlier this week triggered by a spike in global yields and volatility.

Miners, along with energy stocks, were a big weight on the FTSE, with the two commodities-related sectors collectively wiping around 40 points off the index, as prices of copper <CMCU3> and other metals fell and oil retreated.

Precious metals miner Randgold (>> Randgold Resources) fell 2.4 percent after HSBC raised its rating on the stock but trimmed its price target. Antofagasta (>> Antofagasta) and BHP Billiton (>> BHP Billiton Plc) were also both down around 2.5 percent.

Among midcaps, Sophos (>> Sophos Ltd) fell 17.5 percent after the cloud services provider reported slower growth in the amount it bills its customers, while TalkTalk (>> TalkTalk Telecom Group) slumped after flagging a dividend cut and a cash call.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Kit Rees; Editing by Peter Graff)

By Danilo Masoni and Kit Rees


ę Reuters 2018
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ANTOFAGASTA PLC -3.92% 1337 Delayed Quote.-0.07%
ASTRAZENECA PLC -0.76% 8769 Delayed Quote.1.03%
BARCLAYS PLC -2.91% 197.62 Delayed Quote.5.28%
BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO PLC -0.72% 3157 Delayed Quote.15.77%
COMPASS GROUP PLC -1.02% 1653.5 Delayed Quote.0.06%
GILEAD SCIENCES, INC. 2.36% 68.86 Delayed Quote.-5.16%
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC -1.23% 1660.4 Delayed Quote.3.39%
HSBC HOLDINGS PLC -1.69% 529.2 Delayed Quote.17.75%
JUST GROUP PLC -2.99% 86.05 Delayed Quote.2.93%
LLOYDS BANKING GROUP PLC -1.65% 51.39 Delayed Quote.7.11%
MIRAINOVATE CO., LTD. 2.35% 174 Delayed Quote.-19.05%
NATWEST GROUP PLC -1.18% 242.9 Delayed Quote.7.44%
NEXT PLC 2.13% 7586 Delayed Quote.-7.07%
PUBLICIS GROUPE SA 1.01% 59.72 Real-time Quote.0.88%
RECKITT BENCKISER GROUP PLC -2.89% 6042 Delayed Quote.-4.70%
TALK TALK TELECOM 0.00%End-of-day quote.-1.12%
UNILEVER PLC -1.64% 3784.5 Delayed Quote.-4.03%
WPP PLC -0.17% 1141.5 Delayed Quote.2.32%
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Analyst Recommendations on ASTRAZENECA PLC
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 36 228 M - -
Net income 2021 2 276 M - -
Net Debt 2021 24 734 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 59,0x
Yield 2021 2,39%
Capitalization 182 B 182 B -
EV / Sales 2021 5,71x
EV / Sales 2022 4,69x
Nbr of Employees 76 100
Free-Float 96,4%
Chart ASTRAZENECA PLC
Duration : Period :
AstraZeneca PLC Technical Analysis Chart | AZN | GB0009895292 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends ASTRAZENECA PLC
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsNeutralNeutralBullish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 25
Last Close Price 117,46 $
Average target price 139,09 $
Spread / Average Target 18,4%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Pascal Soriot Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Aradhana Sarin Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Leif Valdemar Johansson Non-Executive Chairman
Menelas NICOLAS Pangalos EVP-Biopharmaceuticals Research & Development
Pam P. Cheng Executive VP-Operations & Information Technology
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