Britain’s blue-chip index looks set to open in positive territory this morning, tracking the US higher, amid stronger oil prices and ongoing investor optimism. Retailers will be in focus in today’s trading as a result of Wm Morrison Supermarket’s (LON:MRW) Christmas trading update and the latest industry data from Kantar Worldpanel.
FTSE 100 seen higher
IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start trading 0.15 percent higher at 7,708 points. The Footsie looks set to take cues from the US, where shares mostly rose last night on the back of ongoing economic optimism.
“Analysts have begun to lift earnings estimates aggressively as a consequence of the rewriting of the tax code,” Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities, told CNBC. “To be sure, stocks are expensive. Nevertheless, those bullish have surmised that shares will get more attractive as bottom line forecasts continue to rise out of deference to the fiscal stimulus.”
Asian stocks meanwhile have built on gains this morning, tracking the US higher. Reuters meanwhile notes that oil prices have firmed to their highest levels since May 2015, with political concerns in some OPEC nations offsetting projections for higher US oil production.
At home, the Footsie shed 27.71 points to end the session 0.71 percent lower at 7,696.51, pressured by a selloff in housebuilders, as well as a hefty drop in Micro Focus (LON:MCRO), whose warning on revenues sent investors fleeing. The group’s shares ended the session 16.92 percent in the red at 2,145.00p.
Today’s macroeconomic releases include Germany’s trade balance for November, due out at 07:00 GMT, to be followed by unemployment data for November for the eurozone at 10:00 GMT. On the corporate front, Morrisons is expected to unveil a rise in sales over the crucial Christmas period.