FTSE 100 preview: Geopolitical worries to pressure index

Sky in focus as Fox bid faces further delay

FTSE 100 preview: Geopolitical worries to pressure index

The UK benchmark index looks set to open in the red this morning, pressured by geopolitical concerns related to North Korea. Sky (LON:SKY) will be in focus today amid reports that Fox’s big for the company could face further delay.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the day 0.45 percent lower at 7,509 points. The Footsie is likely to take cues from the US, where stocks retreated last night after President Donald Trump warned North Korea, saying that threats will be ‘met with fire and fury’.

“The geopolitical tensions could be the catalyst for the market’s direction in the next coming weeks depending on how it all shakes out,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at Boston Private, as quoted by CNBC. “If those talks keep escalating, the market will get nervous.” Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US lower this morning.

At home, the Footsie rose marginally in the previous session, having added 10.79 points to end the session 0.14 percent higher at 7,542.73, finding support in strong energy shares, which helped offset a drop in InterContinental Hotels Group (LON:IHG) and Paddy Power Betfair (LON:PPB), whose results disappointed investors.

“We are still benefiting from the annualisation of the Brexit effect on the currency, but it will be interesting to see how the second half will go when results are more based on actual top-line growth,” Laura Foll, UK fund manager at Janus Henderson, told Reuters.

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to provide direction this morning. On the corporate front, Legal & General (LON:LGEN) and G4S (LON:GFS) will update investors on their recent performance. In other news, The Times reports that Fox’s £11.7-billion bid for Sky could face more delays after Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, said that she was seeking further clarification from Ofcom on the deal in the light of new evidence.

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