FTSE 100 preview: Muted start ahead amid US tax doubts

Barclays in focus with $1bn lawsuit postponed

FTSE 100 preview: Muted start ahead amid US tax doubts

The UK benchmark index looks poised for a lacklustre open this morning, following downbeat leads from the US and Asia, with doubts over the US tax plan weighing on global market sentiment. Barclays (LON:BARC) will be in focus today amid reports that Amanda Staveley’s $1-billion lawsuit has been postponed.

Lacklustre start ahead

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.05 percent higher at 7,488 points. The lacklustre open will come after shares on the other side of the Atlantic finished last night’s session in the red, following a proposed plan by Senate Republicans would push slashing the corporate tax rate until 2019. CNBC notes that the move contrasts with a bill currently working its way through the House.

“That’s what gave us this new leg down,” said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS, on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Alley’. Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US lower this morning amid the US tax concerns.

“Things look fluid, including on when the tax cut deal will be reached,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities, as quoted by Reuters. “I would say a compromise will be reached in the end, and we don’t need to be too pessimistic. But if they indeed decide to delay the tax cut by a year, there is likely to be some disappointment.”

In the UK, the FTSE 100 shed 45.62 points to close 0.61 percent lower at 7,484.10, pressured by a hefty drop in Burberry (LON:BRBY) whose shares lost nearly 10 percent after the company unveiled a move further upmarket.

Friday’s agenda

Today’s macroeconomic updates include the UK trade balance, industrial and manufacturing production for September, due out at 09:30 GMT, while on the other side of the Atlantic, the preliminary Michigan consumer confidence for November is scheduled to be released at 15:00 GMT. In company news, The Times reports that Barclays and the Serious Fraud Office have confirmed that Amanda Staveley’s $1-billion civil lawsuit against the bank will not go to trial before October 2019. 

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