FTSE 100 preview: Index seen little changed as oil rally pauses

on Feb 19, 2016

The UK benchmark index looks set for a muted start this morning, taking cues from the US and Asia where stocks slipped from their recent highs amid falling oil prices. On the corporate front, Standard Life (LON:SL) is due to post its full-year results this morning.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the day two points lower at 5,970. Stocks closed lower on the other side of the Atlantic last night, pulling back after their largest three-day gain since August, with the oil price rally coming to a halt.
“I think we’re in a trading-range market. I think there’s a need for time to indicate oil is stabilising at current levels,” Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at US Bank Wealth Management, told CNBC. Asian shares have tracked the US lower this morning.

The Footsie meanwhile shed 58.37 points to close 0.97 percent lower at 5,971.95 yesterday, pressured by growing concern over the impact of the UK’s potential exit from the EU, with Prime Minister David Cameron holding talks with the bloc’s leaders.
“Where the two sides act as if in an unpleasant divorce […] the market response could be more long-lasting, with obvious pressure on the British pound and large UK listed companies with significant European activities,” PIMCO portfolio manager Mike Amey said in a note, as quoted by Reuters.
Today’s macroeconomic releases include the UK’s retail sales and core retail sales data for January, scheduled to be released at 09:30 GMT. In the US, the nation’s consumer price index for January is due out at 13:30 GMT.
In corporate releases, Standard Life is due to post its full-year results this morning. Proactive Investors reports that Panmure has flagged total group inflows of £8.1 billion and assets under advisement of £306 billion. Coca-Cola HBC (LON:CCH) is also scheduled to post results this morning. In other news, Barclays (LON:BARC) has agreed to pay $50 million to end a currency rigging lawsuit in the US.

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