The FTSE 100 looks set to open marginally higher this morning, building on the previous session’s gains, after US stocks rose last night. On the corporate front, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) will continue the banking reporting season following peers Lloyds (LON:LLOY) and Barclays (LON:BARC) which reported earlier this week.
Index to open higher
IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start this Friday 0.17 percent higher at 7,434 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US where shares climbed higher last night, helped by upbeat earnings reports.
“There are two things driving the market: Earnings and the news flow out of Washington,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Centre for Financial Research, as quoted by CNBC. “The earnings reports have been good thus far.” Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US higher, finding further support in news that leaders of North and South Korea held had their first summit in over a decade.
The Footsie rose in the previous session, adding 42.11 points to close 0.57 percent higher at 7,421.43 with investors digesting earnings and after the European Central Bank left rates unchanged.
Today’s macroeconomic calendar includes Germany’s unemployment rate for April, due out at 08:55 BST, to be followed by a preliminary estimate of the UK’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) at 09:30 BST. IG reports that growth is expected to be 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter and 1.5 percent year-on-year, from 0.4 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. In the US, an advanced reading of the nation’s first-quarter GDP will be announced at 13:30 BST.
In corporate releases, RBS and Travis Perkins (LON:TPK) are due to post results. Proactive Investors reports that Deutsche Bank expects that the lender’s restructuring costs will come in at £313 million for the first quarter.