FTSE 100 preview: Muted start ahead as investors gear up for slew of corporate releases

on Oct 29, 2015

The FTSE 100 is set for a subdued start today. The UK benchmark index closed 72.53 points higher yesterday before the 18:00 GMT announcement of the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision. The Fed kept interest rates unchanged at 0.25 percent, but revived market expectations that it might still be on track to raise them by year-end.

The Footsie is expected to ease some five points this morning, opening at 6,433 points as investors gear up for a busy day for corporate earnings. Barclays (LON:BARC), which yesterday confirmed Jes Staley as its new chief executive, is due to reveal its third-quarter results and is expected to show some softness in investment banking profits. BT Group (LON:BT.A) also reports second-quarter interims today. In a boost to the energy firm ahead of the update, its £12.5 billion acquisition of Britain’s largest mobile operator, EE, was provisionally approved by UK competition officials.
Also on the radar will be Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA), which is scheduled to update the market on its third-quarter performance. According to estimates, the oil giant will post a 55 percent drop in quarterly earnings. Insurer Aviva (LON:AV) and medical equipment manufacturing Smith & Nephew (LON:SN) are also releasing their third-quarter statements today.
On the economic data front, today’s US gross domestic product report is estimated show an annualised 1.5 percent rise in the third quarter, compared to 3.9 percent in the second quarter. Initial jobless claims and pending home sales figures are also due in the US today. Economic data releases elsewhere will include German inflation, Nationwide UK house prices, UK mortgage approvals and Eurozone economic confidence.
US stocks closed higher yesterday, underpinned by the Fed statement, which gave investors more confidence in the possibility of a December rate hike. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.13 percent to 17,779.52 points, the S&P 500 advanced 1.18 percent to 2,090.35, while the Nasdaq increased by 1.30 percent to finish at 5,095.69.
Asian stocks have been mixed today. By 07:06 BST, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had lost 1.07 percent to 523.17 points. Meanwhile, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was 0.17 percent higher at 18,935.71.

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