FTSE 100 preview: Index to extend losses amid US worries

Morrisons to post preliminary results

FTSE 100 preview: Index to extend losses amid US worries

The UK benchmark index looks set to open lower this morning, extending the previous session’s hefty losses, following news that US President Donald Trump had replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Today’s corporate calendar meanwhile includes Wm Morrison Supermarkets’ (LON:MRW) preliminary results.

Downbeat start ahead

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will open 0.24 percent in the red at 7,121 points. The blue-chip index is likely to post further losses this morning after in the US, shares fell last night, pressured by the tech sector after President Trump opposed Broadcom’s proposed buyout of Qualcomm.

“The worry is with the Tillerson ouster and Broadcom blockage from the Trump administration that this will add fuel to the fire in a battle versus China on the horizon over the coming 12 to 18 months,” said Dan Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights, said in a note, as quoted by CNBC. In Asia, shares have tracked the US lower this morning.

At home, the Footsie tumbled yesterday, shedding 75.98 points to end the session 1.05 percent lower at 7,138.78, with investors digesting the Spring Statement and after the US Secretary of State was replaced.

“Rex Tillerson being replaced by the director of the CIA, that’s come as a shock to the market and it’s sent cable higher which has suppressed the FTSE 100 throughout the day,” Jasper Reimers, senior analyst at Vertex Capital Group, told Reuters. “Rex Tillerson was the mediator in a lot of foreign policy issues, so with him now out of the picture, it looks as though Trump’s agenda might be far easier to drive in.”

Wednesday’s agenda

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to provide further guidance to the market this morning. In the US, the nation’s producer price index and retail sales for February are scheduled to be released at 12:30 GMT.

In company updates, Morrisons is scheduled to update investors on its full-year performance and analysts expect the blue-chip grocer to unveil a rise in sales and profits. Prudential (LON:PRU) also reports today.

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