FTSE 100 preview: Index seen little changed as Syria stays in focus

WPP in focus as Martin Sorrell quits

FTSE 100 preview: Index seen little changed as Syria stays in focus

The UK benchmark index looks set to open little changed this morning, with tensions over Syria likely to stay in focus. WPP (LON:WPP) will take the centre stage on the corporate front today as its chief executive Martin Sorrell quit the company.

Muted start ahead

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.08 percent higher at 7,270 points. In the US, stocks fell on Friday, with investors digesting banking results. Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning following US-led strikes on Syria.

“Trump was able to enforce his chemical weapons red line without crossing the threshold for Russian retaliation,” analysts at JPMorgan said in a note, as quoted by Reuters. “Stocks were concerned about a prolonged and expanded U.S. campaign toward Assad and that doesn’t look probable.”

At home, the Footsie closed a little changed on Friday, adding 6.22 points to close 0.09 percent higher at 7,264.56. The index was pressured by an 8.18-percent fall in The Sage Group (LON:SGE), whose shares were sold off after the software company warned on revenues.

Monday’s calendar

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further this morning. On the other side of the Atlantic, US retail sales data for March will be released at 13:30 BST. No blue-chips are scheduled to update investors on their performance this morning.

In other news, WPP announced on Saturday that Martin Sorrell had stepped down from the company with immediate effect. The move follows allegations of personal misconduct. Reuters meanwhile reports that a unit of US activist hedge fund Elliott Management is now holding the largest stake in Whitbread (LON:WTB), making it the second activist in recent months to draw attention to the Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner.

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