FTSE 100 preview: Index seen opening slightly higher ahead of Eurogroup meeting

on Feb 16, 2015

The FTSE 100 Index is expected to open slightly higher in today’s trading, as optimism in Europe grows that Greece and the rest of the eurozone will reach agreement over the country’s debts. There has also been a ceasefire in most of Ukraine since Sunday, as a result of a peace deal sealed at a meeting in Minsk on Thursday between leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France.

The UK’s benchmark equity index closed up 0.67 percent, or 45.41 points, at 6,873.52, on Friday, after better-than-expected GDP numbers for the eurozone and the Ukraine peace deal boosted investor sentiment across European markets. The index received additional support from energy stocks, which advanced on rising oil prices. Tullow Oil Plc (LON:TLW) and BG Group Plc (LON:BG) were amongst the biggest risers in the FTSE 100, with gains of 5.2 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

According to data from spread bettor IG, the Footsie is set to start today’s trading session around six points higher.
The rise in oil prices and the peace agreement boosted American markets as well, helping investors to shrug off weaker-than-expected consumer confidence figures for February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.26 percent at 18019.35 points; the S&P 500 finished 0.41 percent higher at 2096.99 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.75 percent to 4893.84.

Asia’s main equity markets mirrored their US counterparts in today’s trading. The Nikkei 225 Index closed 0.51 percent higher at 18,004.77 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.67 percent to3,225.17.
Back in Europe, eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels today to discuss Greece’s debt. Highlights from the economic calendar include trade balance data for both Spain and Norway, due out at 09:00 UTC, with trade balance figures for the eurozone as a whole to follow an hour later. In terms of corporate earnings releases, Hammerson is the only FTSE 100 company scheduled to update the market today.

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