FTSE 100 preview: Strong US and Asia leads to prop up index

Investors to continue to mull over RBS stake sale

FTSE 100 preview: Strong US and Asia leads to prop up index

The UK benchmark index looks set to open higher this morning, finding support in strong leads from the US and Asia. On the corporate front, investors are set to continue to mull over the Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (LON:RBS) stake sale.

FTSE 100 to open higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.22 percent higher at 7,730 points. In the US, shares rose last night, led higher by the banking sector. Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US higher this morning, finding further support in comments by European Central Bank economist Peter Praet who said that robust growth made the central bank increasingly confident that inflation is on its way back to target, as reported by Reuters.

“The U.S. 10 year Treasury yield rose alongside its eurozone peers overnight, while U.S. stocks rallied, reflecting a risk-on attitude among investors,” Makoto Noji, senior FX/bond strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities, told the newswire.

At home, the Footsie rose in the previous session, adding 25.57 points to end the session 0.33 percent higher at 7,712.37, finding support in a rise in miners, which tracked metals prices higher.

Thursday’s releases

Thursday’s macroeconomic agenda includes the third estimate for the eurozone’s first-quarter gross domestic product, due out at 10:00 BST. With no FTSE 100 companies scheduled to report today, investors are likely to continue to mull over RBS’ stake sale.

Blue-chips, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include Associated British Goods (LON:ABF), Evraz (LON:EVR), Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT), Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY), Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust (LON:SMT) and Vodafone (LON:VOD). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will take about 10.6 points off the index.

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