FTSE 100 preview: Index seen steady despite Trump’s Korea comments

on Apr 28, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the last trading day of the month on the front foot, despite a downbeat lead from Asia where stocks have been pressured by US President Donald Trump’s latest comments. On the corporate front, the earnings season is set to continue with Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) and Barclays (LON:BARC).

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 index will start the session 0.04 percent higher at 7,240 points. Asian shares have been subdued this morning, with comments from President Trump on an existing free trade pact with Seoul and payment for a sophisticated anti-missile system weighing on investor sentiment. He further told Reuters that a major conflict with North Korea was possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programmes, although he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute. In the US, stocks closed higher last night, with investors focusing on company earnings.

At home, the Footsie lost ground yesterday, shedding 51.55 points to end the session 0.71 percent lower at 7,237.17, amid disappointment with Trump’s tax plan and with investors digesting a string of corporate results.
Today’s macroeconomic releases include a preliminary estimate for the UK’s first-quarter gross domestic product at 09:30 BST, due out at 09:30 BST. IG reports that growth is forecast to have dropped to 0.5 percent, down from 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Flash inflation numbers for the eurozone for April are scheduled to be released at 10:00 BST, while in the US, the nation’s preliminary first-quarter GDP is due out at 13:30 BST.
In company updates, RBS is likely to unveil that it has returned to profit in the first three months of the year, while Barclays is set to post results as its chief executive Jes Staley faces regulatory investigation for his attempts to uncover the identity of an anonymous whistleblower.

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