FTSE 100 preview: Investors continue to weigh Iraq woes, Fed statement

on Jun 20, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020

iNVEZZ.com, Friday, June 20: The FTSE 100 is set for a flat open today, with investors continuing to weigh the US Federal Reserve’s dovish stance and Iraq tensions.

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According to trading platform IG, the UK’s benchmark index will open seven points higher at 6,815. There are no major corporate releases of FTSE 100-listed companies scheduled for today.
Despite a drop in the final minutes of trade, the Footsie ended yesterday’s session 29.55 points, or 0.44 percent, higher at 6,808.11, having been fairly steady for most of the day following a strong rise at the opening bell. Investor sentiment was lifted by the Fed’s monetary policy statement, gains amongst housing stocks and a strong performance from Rolls Royce, which was underpinned by the announcement of a £1 billion share buyback programme (Rolls-Royce share price: Company vows to return £1bn to shareholders).

At the end of a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the US central bank would keep interest rates low for some time. The central bank further announced that it would cut monthly asset purchases to $35 billion from $45 billion in July, as expected.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama said yesterday that he would send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq but stressed the need for a political solution to the ongoing crisis. Tensions in the country continue to trouble investors despite the recent shift in focus towards the Fed announcement.

**US stocks little changed, Asian stocks rise**

US stocks were little changed yesterday, with the S&P 500 again finishing at a record high, a day after Wall Street rallied on the Fed’s announcement.
The S&P 500 gained 2.5 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at a record close of 1,959.48, after rising to an all-time high of 1,959.87. Technology led losses and utilities performed the best among its 10 major industry groups.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 14.84 points, or less than 0.1 percent, higher at 16,921.46, while the Nasdaq dropped 3.51 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,359.33.
Asian shares held near a six-year high today, with the regional gauge for stocks outside Japan on course for the longest run of weekly advances since August. By 06:50 BST, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index had risen 1.77 points, or 1.23 percent, to 145.42, on course to advance 0.8 percent this week.
Japanese shares extended gains after ending at four-month highs on Thursday. As of 06:58 BST, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was 20.36 points, or 0.14 percent, higher at 15,344.58, heading for a 1.7 percent weekly gain.


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