FTSE 100 preview: Index to open higher ahead of BoE minutes

on Feb 18, 2015

The FTSE 100 Index is expected to open slightly higher today, following positive trading across US and Asian markets.Debt negotiations between Greece and its eurozone partners are poised to remain in focus today, after reports yesterday claimed that the southern European country is due to submit a formal request today to try to extend its loan agreement.

The UK’s blue-chip equity index closed up 0.6 percent, or 41.08 points, at 6,898.13. According to data from spread bettor IG, the Footsie will open some eight points higher today.
US equity markets re-opened yesterday, having shut for the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday. The news about Greece’s reported intention to request a loan extension boosted expectations that the stalemate in the talks over the country’s debt would eventually be resolved, which helped the markets erase earlier losses and close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session 0.16 percent higher at 18047.58 points; the S&P 500 closed up 0.16 percent at 2100.34 and the Nasdaq Composite Index ended the day 0.11 percent better off at 4899.27.

Following the positive lead from Wall Street, markets across Asia advanced in today’s trading session. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed up 1.18 percent at 18,199.17 points and Australian equities also rose. Stock markets in China,Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam were shut due to the Lunar New Year holiday.
In the UK, the Bank of England will release minutes from its last policy meeting at 09:30 UTC. UK unemployment figures for December are also due out at 09:30 UTC.
Other economic releases from Europe include eurozone construction data at 10:00 UTC. Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve is set to publish minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting after the close of the European trading session. In terms of corporate earnings releases, Coca Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH) is the only FTSE 100-listed company due to update the market.

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