FTSE 100 preview: Index to track Asia lower despite North American trade deal

Royal Mail plunges after profit warning while StanChart faces $1.5bn fine

FTSE 100 preview: Index to track Asia lower despite North American trade deal

The UK benchmark index looks set to open lower this morning, tracking Asia lower, despite a trade deal on the other side of the Atlantic. Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) will be in focus today following yesterday’s profit warning which sent the shares tumbling more than 17 percent. Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) meanwhile is reportedly facing a $1.5-billion fine over violation of Iran sanctions.  

Footsie seen lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.23 percent lower at 7,478 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from Asia where shares have slipped into the red despite news that Canada had joined a trade deal with the US and Mexico, which lifted US shares last night.

“While news that the US and Canada had struck a new NAFTA trade deal gave the S&P 500 a lift overnight, dark clouds are gathering,” strategists at OCBC Bank wrote in a note, as quoted by Reuters. The newswire also quoted Yoshihisa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, as saying that while it appeared “like Canada and Mexico caved in to the United States, the outcome is positive for global trade and the economy”.

In the UK, the Footsie closed marginally lower in the previous session, giving up 14.53 points to close 0.19 percent lower at 7,495.67, pressured by the Royal Mail selloff, and airlines which were weighed down by Ryanair’s profit warning.

Tuesday’s releases

Today’s macroeconomic statements include the UK construction purchasing managers’ index for September, due out at 09:30 BST. IG reports that the index is expected to have climbed to 55 last month, from 52.9. In company news, Bloomberg reports that StanChart is bracing for a potential penalty of around $1.5 billion from US authorities for allowing customers to violate Iran sanctions.

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