FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as Syria tensions ease

Tesco strikes deal to sell Irish credit card business

FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as Syria tensions ease

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the day higher amid easing tensions in the Middle East. Tesco (LON:TSCO) will be in focus today as it inked a deal to sell its Irish credit card business.

Index to open higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the day 0.16 percent higher at 7,210 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US where shares rose last night amid easing worries over a military conflict in Syria.

“You’ve also got so much coming out of Washington that makes investors nervous, but not panic unless it’s an immediate threat,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, as quoted by CNBC. Asian shares meanwhile have advanced this morning, tracking the US higher, and finding further support in positive growth data out of China.

“The markets had been bracing for a possible escalation in Syria following President Trump’s earlier warnings. Military action, however, has been limited, bringing relief,” Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Reuters. “That said, the underlying picture has not changed. Conflict continues in Syria and trade issues remain unresolved. Geopolitics will impact the markets again.”

The Footsie fell yesterday, shedding 66.36 points to end the session 0.91 percent in the red at 7,198.20 amid geopolitical worries and with investors digesting corporate news.

Tuesday’s releases

Today’s macroeconomic statements include UK employment data due out at 09:30 BST, to be followed by Germany’s ZEW index for April at 10:00 BST and US housing starts and building permits numbers for March at 13:30 BST. On the corporate front, Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) will update investors on their performance this morning. In other news, The Times reports that Tesco has struck a deal to sell its Irish credit card business to a Spanish consumer finance firm.

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