The UK benchmark index looks set to start the new year on the front foot, tracking Asian shares higher amid optimism related to China’s economy. This morning’s advance will come after the FTSE 100 closed 2017 on an upbeat note.
Strong start to 2018
IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the year 0.11 percent higher at 7,696 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from Asia, where shares have advanced in the first trading day of the year following upbeat manufacturing data out of China, the world’s second-largest economy.
In the US, however, shares slipped lower in the last session for 2017, with selling accelerating in the last minutes before Friday’s close.
“I imagine it was just guys selling […] reducing exposure on some the bigger winners of the year,” Sahak Manuelian, managing director at Wedbush Securities, told CNBC.
At home, the Footsie surged in the last trading day of the year, adding 64.89 points to end the session 0.85 percent higher at 7,687.77. The blue-chip index ended 2017 on a high note, finding support in cyclical stocks.
“We’ve definitely got an eye on financials, so for us (it‘s) housebuilders and financials. Housebuilders for the government policy and financials for rising inflation,” Jasper Reimers, senior analyst at Vertex Capital, commented, as quoted by Reuters.
Today’s macroeconomic releases include the UK’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for December due out at 09:30 GMT and IG reports that the index is expected to have fallen from 58.2 to 58 last month, remaining in expansion territory. Retailers will be in focus on the corporate front this week, with investors looking out for updates of their performance over the crucial Christmas period.