FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up with US trade war with China ‘on hold’

RBS in focus amid dividend prospects

FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up with US trade war with China ‘on hold’

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the week on the front foot, with investors digesting the latest developments between the US and China. Bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) is likely to be in focus today amid reports that it is mulling over restarting dividends.

Upbeat start

Reuters reports that according to financial bookmarkers, the FTSE 100 is seen opening 52 points higher. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from Asia, where shares have advanced this morning after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the country’s trade war with China ‘on hold’.

“The weekend talk appears to have made progress. While they still need to work out details of a wider trade deal, it is positive for markets that they struck a truce,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities, as quoted by Reuters. In the US, shares closed marginally lower on Friday, with tension between the US and China weighing on sentiment.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 shed 9.18 points to end the previous session 0.12 percent lower at 7,778.79. The blue-chip index, however recorded a gain for the week.

Monday’s agenda

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to further guide the market this morning. In the US, the Chicago Fed index for April will be announced at 13:30 BST. With the earnings season winding down, there are no blue-chips scheduled to update investors on their recent performance. BP (LON:BP) meanwhile is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting amid calls for shareholders to vote against chief executive Bob Dudley’s pay package.

In other news, The Times reports that RBS is considering restarting dividends on a scale that would make it one of Britain’s most generous payers to shareholders and could accelerate the government’s sale of its holding in the bailed-out lender.

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