FTSE 100 preview: Index seen subdued ahead of central bank decisions

Morrisons to post interim results

FTSE 100 preview: Index seen subdued ahead of central bank decisions

The FTSE 100 looks set to start trading lower this morning, with investors staying on the sidelines ahead of central bank policy meetings later in the day. On the corporate front, WM Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) is due to update investors on its interim performance.

FTSE 100 seen lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.16 percent lower at 7,302 points. The blue-chip index is likely to shrug off a mildly positive lead from the US where the Dow and the S&P 500 posted small gains last night, boosted by the possibility of trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told CNBC that this was positive for the market, while adding that some follow-through is needed “to take trade out of the risk column”. Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US higher this morning.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 rose in the previous session, gaining 39.82 points to end trading 0.55 percent higher at 7,313.36, finding support in blue-chip miners and tobacco stocks. SSE (LON:SSE), however, posted a hefty drop, giving up 8.28 percent to 1,147.00p, after cautioning on profits.

Thursday’s releases

Central banks will be in focus today with the Bank of England rate decision due out at 12:45 BST, followed by the European Central Bank’s policy statement at 12:45 BST and press conference at 13:30 BST.

In company releases, Morrisons will post results this morning and Proactive Investors reports that UBS forecasts first-half like-for-like sales growth of 5.5 percent, with underlying earnings (EBIT) of £235 million and pre-tax profit of £203 million.

Melrose (LON:MRO) is the only blue-chip company, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, knocking 0.26 points off the index, according to Reuters’ calculations.

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