FTSE 100 preview: Downbeat start on the cards ahead of Fed chair testimony

on Feb 24, 2015

The FTSE 100 is poised for a downbeat start this morning ahead of US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s two-day testimony to Congress and with Greece expected to present its reform plans to the eurozone. On the corporate front, BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) this morning posted a drop in first-half profit.

CNBC reports that the FTSE 100 is expected to open seven points lower at 6,905 this morning.
US stocks were mixed yesterday ahead of Yellen’s testimony which will be scanned for clues on the timing of an interest-rate hike.
“I think people are looking past Greece to Yellen tomorrow and Wednesday,” Marc Chandler of Brown Brothers Harriman, told CNBC.
While Athens was expected to present reform proposals yesterday, a Greek government official told Reuters that the country would submit the list of its reforms to the Eurogroup today.

Asian stocks were cautiously higher this morning, with China markets remaining shut for the Chinese New Year holiday.
The FTSE 100 lost 3.04 points in yesterday’s session to close 0.04 percent lower at 6,912.16, dragged down by a drop in heavyweight HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) which yesterday posted a decline in annual profit. HSBC’s share price closed 4.63 percent lower at 577.20p.
Today’s macroeconomic calendar includes Germany’s final GDP figure for the fourth quarter due out at 07:00 GMT. IG reports that no revisions are expected, with growth having held steady at 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter. The final eurozone consumer price index for January is scheduled to be released at 10:00 GMT.
In corporate news, London and Sydney-listed BHP Billiton this morning posted a 31 percent drop in half-year profit and cut its targets for capital spending. Other FTSE 100 companies scheduled to release reports today include GKN (LON:GKN), Meggitt (LON:MGGT), Mondi (LON:MNDI) and Persimmon (LON:PSN).

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