FTSE 100 preview: Index seen steady as investors eye earnings and ECB

Earnings season in full swing with Shell and AstraZeneca

FTSE 100 preview: Index seen steady as investors eye earnings and ECB

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the session marginally higher, with investors eyeing the European Central Bank (ECB) rate decision as well as corporate earnings. A string of companies is reporting today, including Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) which is expected to signal share buyback plans.

Index seen steady

Reuters reports that according to financial bookmakers, the FTSE 100 is seen opening six points higher at 7,664 this morning.

In the US, disappointing results from Facebook sent the social media to an all-tie low and weighed on tech shares amid the ongoing earnings season. Asian shares meanwhile have climbed marginally higher this morning, amid trade negotiations progress between Europe and the US.

“Possibly we’ve got a bit of Trump fatigue,” Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at Faraday Research, told Reuters, referring to the US President’s turnabout on trade threats. “You know, nobody cares if it’s going to happen or not at this stage. They just want a slight change of tone.”

At home, the Footsie dipped in the previous session, giving up 50.79 points to close 0.66 percent lower at 7,658.26, pressured by a fall in miners.

Thursday’s calendar

Today’s macroeconomic agenda includes Germany’s consumer confidence GfK index for August, due out at 07:00 BST. The ECB rate decision will be announced at 12:45 BST, with the traditional press conference to follow at 13:30 BST. In the US, the nation’s durable goods orders for June will be unveiled at 13:30 BST.

Investors have a lot to look on the corporate front in today’s session, with companies reporting including Shell, Sky (LON:SKY), Diageo (LON:DGE), Anglo American (LON:AAL), AstraZeneca (LON:AZN), British American Tobacco (LON:BATS), Schroders (LON:SDR) and Smith & Nephew (LON:SN).

FTSE 100 companies, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their dividend in today’s session, include Royal Mail (LON:RMG) and SSE (LON:SSE). According to Reuters calculations, ex-divs will knock 3.15 points off the index.

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