FTSE 100 preview: Blue-chip index poised to extend gains

Tesco results and AGM in focus

FTSE 100 preview: Blue-chip index poised to extend gains

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the last trading day of the week marginally higher, with investors continuing to digest the European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy decision. On the corporate front, Tesco (LON:TSCO) is scheduled to update investors on its first-quarter performance this morning, and hold its annual general meeting later in the day.

Index looking up

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.11 percent higher at 7,774 points. The Footsie is likely to build on the gains posted yesterday, when the index added 62.08 points to end the session 0.81 percent higher at 7,765.79, as investors digested the ECB’s decision to end its quantitative easing programme this year, while ruling out a rate hike until next summer.

“While yesterday’s Fed hike was very much ‘hawkish’, in our view, the ECB opted to announce the end of its net asset purchases with a dovish flavour,” Luigi Speranza, head of European market economics at BNP Paribas, told Reuters yesterday.

In the US, shares were mixed last night, amid a rise in tech stocks and a fall in financials. Asian shares have been subdued this morning, pressured by the prospects of US tariffs against China.

Friday’s releases

Today’s macroeconomic statements include the US Empire State manufacturing index for June, due out at 13:30 BST, to be followed by the preliminary Michigan consumer confidence index for the same month at 15:00 BST.

On the corporate front, Tesco will post results, which are expected to reveal a slowdown in its like-for-like sales growth. In other news, Reuters reports that Ofcom is concerned by the involvement of BT Group (LON:BT.A) in developing the strategic plans of its networks business Openreach, despite splitting the operations.

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