FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower despite US rally

IAG will stay in focus after showing interest in Norwegian Air

FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower despite US rally

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the last trading session of the week marginally lower, despite an upbeat lead from the US. International Consolidated Airlines (LON:IAG) will stay in focus on the corporate front after announcing yesterday that it had snapped up a near five-percent stake in Norwegian Air with a view to potentially make a bid for the low-cost carrier.

Muted start ahead

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.09 percent in the red at 7,252 points. Investors are likely to shrug off a positive lead from the US where shares rose last night amid easing geopolitical tensions as President Donald Trump tweeted that he had “never said when an attack on Syria would take place”.

“That’s giving a boost to stocks, but the market is still gripped with uncertainty,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, as quoted by CNBC. “Until that’s gone, the market will stay in this volatile range.”

Asian shares meanwhile have pared gains this morning following mixed data out of China and with investors digesting the latest US news as President Trump tweeted that the country would only join the Trans Pacific Partnership if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to former President Barack Obama.

“Markets have been pushed around by Trump,” Hiroshi Watanabe, economist at Sony Financial Holdings, told Reuters. “His modus operandi seems to do anything that seems to be good for his re-election.”

At home, the Footsie ended the previous session little changed, adding 1.20 points to close 0.02 percent higher at 7,258.34. The index’s advance was pegged back by worries about tension between the US and Russia over Syria.

Friday’s releases

Today’s macroeconomic statements include the preliminary US Michigan consumer confidence index for April, due out at 15:00 BST.  There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further.

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