FTSE 100 preview: Upbeat start ahead even as US shares pull back

Retailers to stay in focus with Tesco and M&S results

FTSE 100 preview: Upbeat start ahead even as US shares pull back

The UK benchmark index looks set to open higher this morning, even as upbeat investor sentiment around the world started to fizzle out. Retailers will stay in focus with the corporate week continuing with updates by Tesco (LON:TSCO) and Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS).

Index seen higher

CNBC reports that the FTSE 100 is expected to open 13 points higher, according to IG. Investors are likely to shrug off a downbeat handover from the US, where shares turned negative for the first time this year last night, pressured by geopolitical worries as a Reuters report indicated that Canada was increasingly convinced that President Donald Trump will pull the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US lower this morning. In other news, Reuters reported that China’s regulator had called a report about Beijing slowing or halting of its US bond buying possibly wrong.  

In the UK, the Footsie added 17.49 points to close 0.23 percent higher at 7,748.51, finding support in London-listed lenders. Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) was the session’s biggest riser, adding 4.60 percent to 293.40p.

Thursday’s agenda

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the minutes from the European Central Bank’s most recent policy meeting at 12:30 GMT. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US producer price index for December is scheduled to be released at 13:30 GMT.

On the corporate front, Tesco is expected to post a rise in sales over the crucial Christmas period, while Marks & Spencer is forecast to reveal a decline in sales. Housebuilder Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) meanwhile will follow peers Persimmon (LON:PSN) and Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW) with an update. Shares in Sky (LON:SKY) will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, knocking 0.4 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations.

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