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On Thursday, the FTSE 100 in the UK experienced an early decline across the board due to the negative impact of a stronger pound on the index, which is heavily reliant on exporters. Additionally, there was a decrease in risk appetite caused by higher government bond yields. The blue-chip FTSE 100 reversed ealy losses to trade higher into the close and saw an increase of 0.11%.On the positive side of the ledger, DS Smith announced that its CEO, Miles Roberts, will be retiring after serving for 13 years at the British cardboard manufacturing company. Roberts’ official notice period will commence on December 1, 2024, and he will step down as CEO by November 30, 2025, at the latest. Additionally, DS Smith stated that its full-year trading is meeting the company’s management expectations. In the first half of the year, DS Smith reported a basic earnings per share of GBP 0.148, a dividend of GBP 0.06, an adjusted operating profit of GBP 365 million, a pretax profit of GBP 268 million, and a revenue of GBP 3,513 million.On the negative side of the ledger Vodafone sits at the bottom of the blue chip index shedding 3.13% as BNP Paribas Exane downgraded Vodafone Group’s rating from “neutral” to “underperform.” Their analysis suggests that the ongoing portfolio reorganisation within Vodafone will exert a negative influence on free cash flow, and this impact is anticipated to persist until around fiscal year 2028. This downgrade reflects concerns about the company’s financial performance and strategic decisions, prompting a less favourable outlook from BNP Paribas Exane.
FTSE Bias: Bullish Above Bearish below 7400