FTSE 100 preview: Index to extend losses amid global trade tensions

BT in focus amid latest broadband plans

FTSE 100 preview: Index to extend losses amid global trade tensions

The UK benchmark index looks set to open lower this morning, with worries over global trade likely to continue to weigh on sentiment. BT Group (LON:BT.A) will be in focus today as it moves away from copper upgrades to full-fibre broadband.

FTSE 100 to open lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the last trading day of the week 0.28 percent lower at 7,720 points. In the US, shares were mixed last night, with strong performance from the tech sector offset by trade tension worries.

Trade is “in the headlines and people think about it, but investors are also realising [...] the trade war is a long game and every piece of news we get is a piece of the puzzle,” Craig Birk, chief investment officer at Personal Capital, told CNBC. Trade tensions have also pushed Asian shares lower this morning.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 dipped 34.88 points to close 0.45 percent lower at 7,741.77, pressured by stocks going ex-dividend, as well as the latest round of US sanctions on Russia and the escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Friday’s agenda

Investors will eye a string of releases out of the UK this morning, including second-quarter growth data, as well as trade and production data for June, all due out at 09:30 BST. IG reports that the nation’s monthly gross domestic product reading is expected to have climbed from 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent, year-on-year GDP is expected to have climbed from 1.2 percent, and the month-on-month number is expected to have climbed from 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent. On the other side of the Atlantic, Canada’s jobs report for July is out at 13:30 BST, alongside the US consumer price index for July.

In company releases, Old Mutual (LON:OML) is scheduled to post results this morning. In other news, the Financial Times reports that BT has cut back its plans to upgrade 10 million copper broadband lines after the government abandoned its previous view that adequate internet speeds can be achieved by improving the current network.

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