FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower amid US-China concerns

Pharmaceuticals in focus as AstraZeneca reports

FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower amid US-China concerns

The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day of the week in negative territory, after US President Donald Trump signalled he doubted trade talks with China would be successful. On the corporate front, AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) is scheduled to post its first-quarter results this morning.

Downbeat start ahead

CNBC reports that according to IG, the FTSE 100 is seen opening 3.3 points lower at 7,773. The index is likely to take cues from the US, where shares retreated last night amid worries over the country’s trade talks with China.

“Will that be successful? I tend to doubt it,” President Trump said yesterday, as quoted by CNBC, as the US and China kicked off the second round of trade talks. “The reason I doubt it is because China has become very spoiled. The European Union has become very spoiled. Other countries have become very spoiled, because they always got 100 percent of whatever they wanted from the United States.”

Asian shares have tracked the US lower this morning.  Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, however, told Reuters that “judging from how the talks are proceeding so far, there is a greater chance of the negotiations ending in some sort of a compromise instead of falling through, and such an outcome would bode well for risk sentiment”.

At home, the Footsie rose in the previous session, gaining 53.77 points to close 0.70 percent higher at 7,787.97, boosted by corporate updates.

Friday’s releases

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe this morning. In the afternoon, Canada’s consumer price index for April is due out at 13:30 BST. In company updates, AstraZeneca is due to update the market on its first-quarter performance and Proactive Investors reports that Deutsche Bank expects the pharmco’s results to reflect strong product launches with total sales of Tagrisso, Imfinzi, Fasenra, Calquence and Lynparza of $520 million, up 128 percent year-on-year.

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