FTSE 100 preview: Muted start ahead as Asia retreats

Lloyds looking to restructure commercial banking business

FTSE 100 preview: Muted start ahead as Asia retreats

The FTSE 100 looks set to open little changed this morning, following the previous session’s surge, taking cues from Asia, where trade worries have continued to weigh on investor sentiment. Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) will be in focus on the corporate front today amid reports that it is looking to restructure its commercial banking business.

Index seen little changed

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.03 percent lower at 7,503 points. The blue-chip index is likely to track Asia lower, with trade worries staying in focus amid reports that US President Donald Trump is planning more tariffs on more Chinese goods.

“Markets are paying a little bit of attention to (Trump’s tariff threats) and wondering what might happen to European autos and, at the end of the day, what will happen with the Canadian side of NAFTA as well. There’s a lot of uncertainty there,” Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at Axi Trader, told Reuters. The US market was closed for Labour Day yesterday.

At home, the FTSE 100 started September on the front foot, adding 72.18 points to close 0.98 percent higher at 7,504.60, benefitting from a weaker pound.

Tuesday’s calendar

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the UK’s construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for August, due out at 09:3 BST. IG reports that the index is expected to have fallen from 55.8 to 52.8. In the US, the ISM manufacturing PMI for August will be released at 15:0 BST.

In company news, WPP (LON:WPP) will post results, a day after naming insider Mark Read as its new chief executive officer. In other news, Bloomberg reports that Lloyds is planning to reorganise its commercial bank and eliminate some senior management positions to cut costs at one of its biggest divisions.

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