The FTSE 100 looks set to start Wednesday’s session on the front foot, following stock market gains on the other side of the Atlantic. Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) will be in focus on the corporate front amid reports that it is close to scrapping talks over a healthcare merger with US rival ICU.
FTSE 100 to open higher
IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.10 percent higher at 7,727 points. The UK benchmark index is likely to take cues from the US where shares rose last night, helped by strong earnings, while trade worries took the back seat.
“The earnings season has been good and that's helped investors realize there are strong fundamentals to justify the high prices,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, as quoted by CNBC. “The other thing is people get used to worries overtime. We’ve had trade concerns for a while and now they don't seem as bad.” Asian shares have tracked the US higher in today’s trading.
In the UK, the FTSE 100 gained ground yesterday, adding 54.70 points to end the session 0.71 percent higher at 7,718.48. The index found support in blue-chip miners, as well as a rise in Standard Life Aberdeen (LON:SLA), whose shares gained 4.79 percent to close at 321.30p after the merged group unveiled plans to accelerate its share buyback programme.
There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe this morning. On the corporate front, investors will eye updates from Glencore (LON:GLEN) and Prudential (LON:PRU). Sky News meanwhile reports that Smiths is close to calling off talks with Nasdaq-listed ICU Medical about a £7-billion merger which would have created a transatlantic healthcare giant.