FTSE 100 preview: Index to build on gains after strong US lead

Retailers in focus with Ocado results and M&S AGM

FTSE 100 preview: Index to build on gains after strong US lead

The FTSE 100 looks set to open higher this morning, building on the previous session’s gains, following a strong lead from the US where attention is turning to the upcoming earnings season. Retailers will be in focus today with Ocado’s (LON:OCDO) half-year update and Marks & Spencer’s (LON:MKS) annual general meeting.

Footsie looking up

IG's opening calls suggest that the UK bencmark index will start the session 15 percent higher at 7,700 points. The FTSE 100 is likely to take cues from the US, where shares rose last night, with investors shrugging off trade war worries ahead of the upcoming earnings season.

“The market can surprise you with what it’s focused on,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR, as quoted by CNBC. “Now we’re focused back on fundamentals.” Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US higher this morning.

At home, the Footsie started the week on the front foot, adding 70.29 points to end the session 0.92 percent higher at 7,687.99, following the resignations of Brexit Minister David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson weighed on the pound. Reuters reported that analysts had said the political tensions were no positive for stocks in longer term, despite the currency effect.

Tuesday’s agenda

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the UK trade balance for May due out at 09:30 BST and IG reports that the nation’s deficit is forecast to have narrowed to £1.2 billion from £5.3 billion. Germany’s ZEW economic sentiment index for July will be announced at 10:00 BST.

On the corporate front, Ocado is scheduled to post its first-half results, while M&S’ will hold its AGM. The high street retailer, however, has scrapped its trading update provided alongside the meeting.

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