FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as investors digest Fed statement

FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as investors digest Fed statement

Britain’s blue-chip index looks set to open in positive territory this morning, following an upbeat lead from the US in the wake of the Federal Reserve policy statement. Investors have a lot to look forward to on the corporate front today, with a string of blue-chip companies, including bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS), scheduled to update investors on their recent performance.

CNBC reports that the FTSE 100 is expected to open six points higher at 6,636. In the US, stocks closed higher as the Fed kept rates unchanged in line with expectations and said that it was going to raise rates when it had “seen some further improvement in the labour market”.
“The lack of much hint is deliberate, as the Fed remains uncommitted to a timeline,” Bernard Aw, analyst at IG, said in a morning note, adding that the market had focused on the addition of the word ‘some’.

“Some may take it as a lowering of the bar before tightening and a couple of months of solid job growth is all that is needed,” he added. Asian stocks were mixed this morning following the upbeat lead from the US and volatile trade in China.
At home, the Footsie added 75.72 points to close 1.16 percent higher at 6,631.00, finding support in pharmaceuticals. GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) was one of the biggest gainers after its second-quarter results beat analyst estimates. GSK’s share price closed 3.63 percent higher at 1,374.50p.
Today’s macroeconomic data includes eurozone unemployment numbers due out at 10:00 BST, followed by a second reading of the US second-quarter GDP at 13:30 BST. On the corporate front, RBS is scheduled to release its second-quarter results this morning, with analysts expecting an attributable loss of £260 million.
Other blue-chip companies reporting today include AstraZeneca (LON:AZN), Centrica (LON:CNA), BT Group (LON:BT.A), Diageo (LON:DGE), BAE Systems (LON:BA), Rolls-Royce (LON:RR), Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA), The Weir Group (LON:WEIR), Smith & Nephew (LON:SN), Intu Properties (LON:INTU), InterContinental Hotels (LON:IHG), Merlin Entertainments (LON:MERL) and Babcock (LON:BAB).

By Alice Young
Alice joined the Invezz team after motherhood convinced her to make a career change from actuary-ing. She brings a forensic eye for detail developed through crunching numbers on underwriting satellite insurance and the like.
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