FTSE 100 crawls higher as Prudential and Rio Tinto share price lag

The FTSE 100 is up by about 50 basis points as investors react to the positive retail sales numbers from the UK. Other indices in Europe were also up, with the DAX index, CAC 40, and Stoxx 40 are also up.

Prudential share price lags as it exits US

Prudential is the biggest laggard in the FTSE 100 today after the company sold its US business unit. Prudential stock price is down by 1.03% and is trading at 1,197p. In a statement yesterday, the company said that it was selling a stake of Jackson, its US business to Athene, a company owned by Apollo Global Management. The decline today is a reversal after the firm’s share price rose after the deal was announced.

The decision by Prudential to sell Jackson came after the company got into intense pressure from Dan Loeb. Loeb’s firm, Thirdpoint owns about 5% stake in Prudential.

Jackson, which Prudential bought in 1986 for $610 million is an important part of the company’s total business. It accounts for almost 50% of all Prudential’s customers.

Prudential share price is down 14% this year.

Rio Tinto share price caves as it launches investigation

Rio Tinto share price dropped by 0.77%, becoming another big loser in the FTSE 100. The miner’s shares are falling after the company launched an investigation into how the company destroyed two ancient sites in Australia. The caves were destroyed in May as the company tried to extend its mine. While the company had government approval, the investigation could cost the biggest iron ore miner millions.

Rio Rinto share price is trading at 4,471p.

FTSE 100 moves in response to retail sales

The FTSE 100 also reacted to upbeat UK retail sales numbers released by the ONS early today. The data showed that the headline retail sales rose by 12% in May while the core retail sales rose by 10.2%. The sales dropped on a year on year basis because the country was not in lockdown in 2019. These numbers came a day after the BOE toyed with the idea of negative interest rates.

Other top movers in the FTSE

The biggest mover in the FTSE 100 today is Diageo, the giant beer-maker whose shares are up by 1.98%. It is followed by Schroders, the fund manager whose shares are up by 1.94%. Other top movers are Taylor Wimpey, National Grid, and Hikma Pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, the top fallers in the FTSE are British Land, Meggitt, ITV, and BHP Group.

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FTSE 100 technical outlook

On the daily chart, we see that the FTSE 100 is slightly higher today. But the index seems to have found strong resistance at the 50% Fibonacci retracement and 100-day exponential moving average levels. It is also above the 100-day exponential moving average level. Therefore, bulls will need to be forceful above this level if the upward trend is to continue.

On the other hand, a drop below £6,100 will invalidate the upward trend. This price is along the 50-day EMA and is also along the ascending trendline.

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