FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as US shares rise

Rolls-Royce in focus as Air New Zealand cancels flights

FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as US shares rise

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the session on the front foot, tracking the US higher. Rolls-Royce Holdings (LON:RR) will be in focus today amid reports that Air New Zealand has cancelled some flights due to engine problems.

Upbeat start on the cards

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.18 percent higher at 7,362 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US where shares advanced, boosted by the tech sector. Investors meanwhile are awaiting more details on the nation’s tax reform.

Komal Sri-Kumar, president of Sri-Kumar Global Strategies, told CNBC the market is taking a pause as it was “not clear that the tax changes that the Senate approved during the early hours of Saturday are going to be as stimulative as the markets first thought”. Asian shares meanwhile have been pressured by a fall in oil and copper this morning.

At home, the Footsie added 20.53 points to close 0.28 percent higher at 7,348.03. Hammerson (LON:HMSO) proved a drag on the index, shedding 6.17 percent, with investors reacting negatively to the group’s merger deal with smaller London-listed peer Intu Properties (LON:INTU).

Thursday’s agenda

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the third estimate for the eurozone’s third-quarter gross domestic product, due out at 10:00 GMT. In company news, Reuters reports that Air New Zealand has said it would cancel and delay some international flights over the coming weeks because engines on its Boeing Co 787-9 jets manufactured by Rolls-Royce required early maintenance.

Blue-chips, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include Babcock (LON:BAB), Mediclinic (LON:MDC) and Next (LON:NXT). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 0.46 points off the FTSE 100. 

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