The UK benchmark index looks set to open marginally lower this morning, with investors shrugging off strong leads from the US and Asia. On the corporate front, Next (LON:NXT) will post its fourth-quarter results, kicking off the retailers reporting season.
FTSE 100 set for mildly lower start
IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will open 0.02 percent lower at 7,646 points. In the US, stocks surged last night, soaring to new highs on the first trading day of the new year.
“This is basically an extension of what we saw in 2017,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, as quoted by CNBC. “With economic data being strong, investors are betting that economic growth will translate into strong earnings growth.” Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US higher this morning.
At home, the Footsie started the new year on the back foot, pressured by a rise in sterling. The FTSE 100 lost 39.67 points to end the session 0.52 percent lower at 7,648.10.
Today’s macroeconomic releases include German employment data for December, due out at 08:55 GMT, to be followed by the UK’s construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for January at 09:30 GMT. IG reports that the index is expected to have fallen to 53 from 53.1. The US ISM manufacturing PMI meanwhile is scheduled to be released at 15:00 GMT, while the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting are due out at 19:00 GMT, after London market closes.
In company news, Next will post results tomorrow and Proactive Investors reports that Graham Spooner, an investment research analyst at The Share Centre, says that there are “some hopes that trading could have been better especially given the more seasonal weather pattern”.