FTSE 100 preview: Upbeat start on the cards after PM speech

on Jan 18, 2017
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

The UK benchmark index looks set to open higher this morning in the wake of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit speech. On the corporate front, Burberry (LON:BRBY) is scheduled to post its third-quarter results.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the day 25 points higher at 7,245. Investors are likely to continue to weigh May’s speech after the nation’s Prime Minister signalled yesterday that she does not want to retain access to the EU’s single market, but promised a parliamentary vote on any deal.
“The fact that May is willing to put the final Brexit deal vote to the Parliament reinforces the possibility of a ‘softer’ Brexit,” Stephane Ekolo, a strategist at Market Securities, told Reuters yesterday.

Stocks on the other side of the Atlantic meanwhile closed lower last night amid concerns about president-elect Donald Trump’s future policies.
“There’s a lot of nervousness as Trump gets set to take office,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, as quoted by CNBC. “Until we see what he does in his first 100 days, I think the market is going to remain in a wait-and-see pattern.”

Asian shares have retreated this morning, taking cues from the US. At home, the FTSE 100 index added 22.66 points to end the previous session 0.33 percent higher at 6,954.21 following Theresa May’s speech.
Today’s macroeconomic calendar includes UK unemployment data scheduled to be released at 09:30 GMT. IG reports that the November unemployment rate is forecast to have climbed to 4.9 percent from 4.8 percent, while December’s claimant count is expected to have risen from 2,400 to 7,300. Average earnings (including bonuses) for November meanwhile are forecast to have surged by 2.6 percent, from an October rise of 2.5 percent. Eurozone inflation numbers for December are due out at 10:00 GMT, while the US consumer price index for December is scheduled for 13:30 GMT.
In corporate releases, Burberry is expected to unveil a rise in like-for-like sales for the third quarter of its financial year. Experian (LON:EXPN) is also scheduled to update investors on its third-quarter performance this morning.