FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower as rally fizzles out

RBS in focus as government moves to sell shares in lender

FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower as rally fizzles out

The UK benchmark index looks set to open lower this morning, with risk-on sentiment around the world starting to cool. Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) will be in focus today as the government unveiled plans to sell about 7.7 percent of the bailed-out lender.

Footsie seen lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.19 percent lower at 7,729 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from Asia where shares have been subdued this morning following the previous session’s gains.

“Strong US data put fundamentals back in the spotlight, just as Italian political concerns were ebbing,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, as quoted by Reuters, adding that the next ‘focal point’ is the upcoming Fed meeting on June 12 and whether the US central bank “shows any indication of accelerating the pace of its rate hikes following the strong employment report”. US shares meanwhile rose last night.

The FTSE 100 started the week on the front foot yesterday, adding 39.52 points to end the session 0.51 percent higher at 7,741.29, amid receding concerns over Italy and Spain, and with investors instead focusing on corporate developments.

Tuesday’s agenda

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the UK services purchasing managers index (PMI) for May, due out at 09:30 BST, and IG reports that the index is forecast to have climbed to 53.5, from 52.8. Eurozone retail sales data for April will be unveiled at 10:00 BST, while in the US, the nation’s ISM non-manufacturing PMI is scheduled to be released at 15:00 BST.

RBS will be in focus with the government trimming its stake in the group, reducing its overall share in the bailed-out lender to 62 percent.

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