FTSE 100 preview: Political concerns to weigh on blue-chip index

on Feb 8, 2017
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

The FTSE 100 is seen opening marginally lower this morning, amid a pullback in oil prices and uninspiring leads from the US and Asia where concerns over Donald Trump’s policies and the looming election in France weighed on investor sentiment. On the corporate front, GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) is scheduled to update investors on its fourth-quarter performance as it faces a change at the top next month.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.04 percent lower at 7,183 points. In the US, stocks closed mixed last night, as investors digested corporate earnings while Asia has slipped lower this morning amid worries about the upcoming presidential vote in France.
“The markets are now paying attention to political risks in Europe and the United States, after a rally earlier this week following the strong US payrolls data,” said Kenta Tadaide, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute, as quoted by Reuters.

The Footsie rose in the previous session, adding 14.07 percent to close 0.20 percent higher at 7,186.22, finding support in a weaker pound. DCC (LON:DCC) was the biggest blue-chip gainer in percentage terms after saying that its third-quarter profit had come in ‘strongly ahead’ of the prior year. DCC’s share price closed 5.65 percent higher at 6,735.00 points.
There are no major macroeconomic updates out of Europe this morning. In corporate releases, Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HL) are scheduled to update investors on their performance. GSK, which traditionally reports results at noon, meanwhile is expected to unveil a rise in quarterly revenue and earnings. The update will be the last with Sir Andrew Witty at the helm of the blue-chip drugmaker as he prepares to step down next month.