FTSE 100 preview: Muted start ahead as investors continue to weigh Trump moves

on Jan 31, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the day marginally lower this morning, pressured by a selloff in the US where investors reacted to President Donald Trump’s latest policy moves. Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) will be in focus today amid reports that it will sell its stake in an offshore Thai gas field.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the day 0.09 percent lower at 7,112 points. US stocks closed lower last night, with investors continuing to digest Trump’s move to temporarily ban citizens from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US.
“We spent the first two months [following the election] focusing on the positives for companies. What we’re seeing here is that life is not a straight line,” said Craig Sterling, head of US equity research at Pioneer Investments, as quoted by CNBC. “Perhaps the market is looking at the other side of things. Maybe the Trump administration is not going to do all the things businesses want.” Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US lower this morning.

The Footsie closed deep in the red yesterday, shedding 66.01 points to end the session 0.92 percent lower at 7,118.48, pressured by Trump’s immigration ban. Tesco (LON:TSCO) was the biggest blue-chip faller in percentage terms, giving up some of the previous session’s gains, and closing 4.24 percent lower at 197.80p.
Today’s macroeconomic calendar includes German unemployment data for January, scheduled to be released at 08:55 GMT. January inflation data for the eurozone is due out at 10:00 GMT, along with the region’s unemployment rate for December, and a flash estimate for the area’s fourth-quarter gross domestic product. IG reports that the eurozone’s GDP is expected to come in at 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, and 1.6 percent year-on-year, from 0.3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. In the US, consumer confidence numbers for January will be released at 15:00 GMT.
In corporate releases, SSE (LON:SSE) is scheduled to update investors on its third-quarter trading. In other company news, Bloomberg reports that Shell will sell its stake in an offshore Thai gas field to a unit of Kuwait Petroleum for $900 million.

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