The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day of the week on the front foot, despite the intensifying trade row between the US and China. Rolls-Royce (LON:RR) will be in focus as it inked a deal to offload its Marine business.
Index looking up
IG’s opening calls suggest that the benchmark index will start the session 0.49 percent higher at 7,640 points. In Asia, shares have been mixed this morning, as a deadline for US tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports passed today, with Beijing having vowed to respond in kind.
“We can probably say that the trade war has officially started,” said Chen Feixiang, professor of applied economics at Shanghai Jiaotong University’s Antai College of Economics and Management, as quoted by Reuters. “If this ends at $34 billion, it will have a marginal effect on both economies, but if it escalates to $500 billion like Trump said then it’s going to have a big impact for both countries.”
Shares in the US closed higher last night, as investors returned after the Independence Day holiday earlier in the week. At home, the Footsie rose in the previous session, adding 30.13 points to end the session 0.40 percent higher at 7,603.22, with investors shrugging off the ongoing trade war worries. Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) was the session’s biggest faller in percentage terms, giving up 4.16 percent to close at 2,604.00p.
Today’s macroeconomic releases include the monthly US non-farm payrolls scheduled to be released at 13:30 BST. IG reports that payrolls are expected to have fallen to 190,000 last month, from 223,000, while the unemployment rate is forecast to have held steady at 3.8 percent.
In company news, Rolls-Royce announced that it had signed an agreement to sell its Commercial Marine business for an enterprise value of £500 million.