FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as investors shrug off trade war worries

Whitbread to post first-quarter results

FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as investors shrug off trade war worries

The UK benchmark index is likely to open higher this morning, building on the previous session’s modest gains, with investors set to shrug off worries over the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China. On the corporate front, Cost Coffee and Premier Inn owner Whitbread (LON:WTB) is scheduled to update investors on its first-quarter performance this morning.

Index looking up

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.40 percent higher at 7,586 points. The blue-chip index looks set to take cues from the US where shares closed higher last night, partially recovering following Monday’s hefty losses.

“A lot of investors are taking a wait-and-see approach with the confusion around trade policy,” said Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence, as quoted by CNBC. But on the other hand, “the fundamentals have been phenomenal. I think all this trade talk is sort of dampening the excitement around the fundamentals”.

Asian shares meanwhile have retreated this morning with the US House of Representatives passing a bill to tighten foreign investment rules.

“We remain of the view that a large scale “trade war” remains a low probability though the odds of it happening appear to have increased,” JPMorgan economist David Hensley told Reuters.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 closed marginally higher yesterday, adding 28.08 points to end the session 0.37 percent higher at 7,537.92.

Wednesday’s releases

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further this morning. In the US, the nation’s durable goods orders for May will be announced at 13:30 BST, followed by pending home sales for the same month at 15:00 BST.

In company news, Whitbread is expected to post a weak first-quarter update. The results will come after the group said earlier this year that it might spin off its Costa Coffee business.

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