FTSE 100 preview: Downbeat start ahead amid geopolitical concerns

on Mar 6, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the week on the back foot, tracking Asia lower, amid geopolitical concerns and prospects of a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve hike as soon as this month. Standard Life (LON:SL) will be in focus today amid reports that the company is in talks with Aberdeen Asset Management (LON:ADN) over an £11-billion merger.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session nine points in the red at 7,365. The blue-chip index is expected to take cues from Asia, where shares have retreated this morning after fter North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles. In the US, stocks ended last week on an upbeat note, while Fed Chair Janet Yellen signalled a rate hike this month.
“I think Janet Yellen has done a good job of walking the tightrope of preparing the market for this,” said Ben Baier, senior portfolio manager at Bank of the West, as quoted by CNBC. “It would take something big to knock them off this rate hike.”

The Footsie closed little changed on Friday, shedding 8.09 points to end the session 0.11 percent lower at 7,374.26, pressured by a fall in blue-chip miners and advertising giant WPP (LON:WPP), whose shares closed 7.95 percent lower after the company sounded a note of caution on this year’s outlook.
There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to provide direction this morning. In the US, the nation’s factory orders for January are scheduled to be released at 15:00 GMT. There are no blue-chip companies scheduled to update investors on their performance today. In other news, the Financial Times reports that Standard Life is set to unveil an £11-billion all-share takeover of smaller London-listed peer Aberdeen Asset Management.

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