LONDON, Jan 16 — London’s main index inched lower today as companies, including Pearson and Whitbread, gave dismal trading updates, while sentiment was subdued as some key elements of the US-China trade deal were not clear.
China will boost purchases of US goods and services by US$200 billion (RM812 billion) over two years in exchange for the rolling back of some tariffs under the deal.
The Phase 1 deal, however, does not fully eliminate the tariffs, while the purchase targets, which include energy, farm and manufacturing products, look daunting to achieve.
The FTSE 100 gave up 0.1 per cent, with education company Pearson sinking 12 per cent to its lowest level since October 2008 and Premier Inn-owner Whitbread slipping six per cent, as the corporate earnings season kicked into high gear.
Associated British Foods outperformed the blue-chip bourse, as it rose three per cent after it posted solid revenue growth at its Primark fashion chain and stood by its annual earnings forecast.
The midcap FTSE 250 gained 0.1 per cent, helped by a nine per cent surge in Wood Group after the oilfield services provider forecast higher 2019 core earnings. — Reuters