FTSE 100 preview: Sentiment remains subdued amid terrorism concerns

on Nov 24, 2015
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The FTSE 100 is set for a downbeat start today, following a lacklustre lead from Asia and Wall Street overnight and increased concerns over the threat of terrorism.

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Britain’s benchmark index finished yesterday’s session at 6,305.49 points, 29.14 points down on the day. This morning, the Footsie is expected to shed a further 22 points, opening at 6,283. Investors will eye interim updates from catering firm Compass Group (LON:CPG) and home improvement retailer Kingfisher (LON:KGF). Also under the spotlight will be Rolls-Royce Holdings (LON:RR), whose new chief executive, Warren East, is due to update the market on the findings of his strategic review of the troubled engine maker.

Sentiment is set to remain subdued today after the US State Department cautioned citizens of possible travel risks worldwide “due to increased terrorist threats”. The alert, issued yesterday, came as Belgium charges one suspect linked to the Paris attacks, but remains on lockdown for a fourth day amid a continuing nationwide manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the attacks 11 days ago.

On the economic front, US gross domestic product data will be in focus today, and is expected to be revised to an annualised 2.1 percent in the third quarter, up from a previous estimate of 1.5 percent. A report on US consumer confidence is also due, with analysts predicting an improvement in sentiment in November. The confidence index is forecast to rise to 99.5 from 97.6 in October.

Following a recent batch of positive economic data, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco president John Williams said over the weekend that there is likely to be a “strong case” for raising interest rates next month. The Fed meeting is due to take place on 15-16 December.

US stocks closed mildly lower yesterday as investors eyed fluctuations in oil prices and looked ahead to economic reports over the shortened Thanksgiving holiday week. Asian equity markets have been trading mixed, following the lower finish from Wall Street.

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