The UK benchmark index looks set to open marginally lower this morning, amid investor caution ahead of the Bank of England’s (BOE) rate decision tomorrow. Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) will stay in focus amid plans to expand its marketing operations in Asia.
IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the day 0.10 percent lower at 7,393 points. Sentiment is likely to be subdued ahead of BOE decision tomorrow. The Times monetary policy committee, a group of former BOE policymakers and other senior economists, has said that the bank should be laying the groundwork for an increase in interest rates and to withdraw some of the stimulus launched after last year’s Brexit vote.
In the US, stocks rallied last night amid subsiding fears over North Korea and Hurricane Irma. Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US higher.
“The fear trade of North Korea possibly exploding another hydrogen bomb is unwinding and the damage from Hurricane Irma doesn’t seem to be as bad as thought,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private, as quoted by CNBC.
At home, the FTSE 100 shed 12.90 points to end the session 0.17 percent lower at 7,400.69, pressured by a rise in sterling. Ashtead (LON:AHT), however, bucked the trend as it flagged potential benefits from this year’s hurricane season in the US, which has fuelled demand for the group’s equipment. Ashtead’s share price closed 4.45 percent higher at 1,759.00p.
Today’s macroeconomic releases include UK unemployment data for August, due out at 09:30 BST. In the US, the nation’s producer price index for August is scheduled to be released at 13:30 BST. In company news, Reuters reports that Shell aims to expand marketing operations in Asia and wants 20 percent of sales from its fuel stations worldwide to come from recharging electric vehicles and low carbon fuels by 2025.