Britain’s blue-chip index looks set to open higher this morning, building on the previous session’s gains, following a strong lead from the US and with investors eyeing the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting later today. In company news, Barclays’ (LON:BARC) shareholders have backed chief executive Jes Staley.
Index seen higher
IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.33 percent higher at 7,546 points. In the US, shares rose last night, as the Fed kicked off a two-day policy meeting. CNBC reports that market participants are not expecting any alterations to interest rates.
“The bad news is that inflationary pressures are building. The good news is that Fed officials must be doing a victory dance,” said Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, in a note, as quoted by the newswire, adding that Fed officials were “likely to stay on their announced course of gradually tightening monetary policy”. Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning.
In the UK, the FTSE 100 started May on the front foot, adding 11.06 points to end the session 0.15 percent higher at 7,520.36, finding support in a weaker pound, as sterling retreated on the back of disappointing manufacturing data.
Investors are facing a macroeconomic data-packed day, starting with the UK construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI), due out at 09:30 BST. IG reports that the index is forecast to have climbed to 51.9, from 47. Unemployment data for the eurozone for March, as well as a flash estimate of the region’s first-quarter gross domestic product are both scheduled to be announced at 10:00 BST, while in the US, the ADP report for April is out at 13:15 BST. The Fed rate decision will be announced at 19:00 BST, after the UK market closes.
On the corporate front, The Sage Group (LON:SGE), Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) and Direct Line (LON:DLG) are set to update the market on their performance today. In other news, investors in Barclays have backed Jes Staley, with more than 99 percent voting in favour of his re-election at the group’s annual general meeting yesterday.