FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower amid Italian woes

More RBS shares could be sold this week

FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower amid Italian woes

The UK benchmark index looks set to start lower this morning, amid worries over Italy and following a downbeat lead from Asia. Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) will be in focus on the corporate front amid prospects of the UK trimming its stake in the bailed-out lender.

FTSE 100 to open lower

CNBC reports that the Footsie is seen opening five points lower at 7,692 points, according to IG. Sentiment is likely to be subdued today, with investors monitoring the latest events in Italy where anti-establishment parties scrapped plans to form a coalition government. Asian shares have been subdued this morning, pressured by Italian woes as well as a fall in oil prices.

“The market has turned its focus to the continuing political situation in Italy,” Nick Twidale, analyst at Rakuten Securities Australia, told Reuters. In the US, stocks closed lower on Friday, pressured by geopolitical fears after President Donald Trump moved to cancel his highly-anticipated summit with North Korea. The US market was closed yesterday for Memorial Day.

At home, the Footsie added 13.54 points to end Friday’s session 0.18 percent higher at 7,730.28.

Tuesday’s agenda

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to provide direction this morning. In the US, the nation’s’ consume confidence index for May is scheduled to be released at 15:00 BST. There are no FTSE 100 companies scheduled to update investors on their performance this morning.

In other news, the Guardian reports that another tranche of RBS could be sold off as early as this week, with speculation mounting that the Treasury is to resume its privatisation imminently. The Telegraph meanwhile reports that ITV (LON:ITV) is considering entering into a £1bn joint venture with the BBC by buying half of UKTV.

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