FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as earnings season looms

on Jul 14, 2017

The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day of the week on the front foot, with investors eyeing the upcoming earnings season. Sky (LON:SKY) will be in focus on the corporate front today amid reports that Rupert Murdoch is unlikely to offer any new concessions to protect the company’s editorial independence.

IG’s opening calls suggest that Britain’s blue-chip index will start the day 0.11 percent higher at 7,421 points. The Footsie is likely to take cues from the US, where stocks rose last night in anticipation of the earnings season which kicks off today with JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, and following an upbeat update at Target.
“Earnings season is first and foremost on people’s minds right now,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at Boston Private, as quoted by CNBC. “The big banks will direct the market in the short term” as earnings season gets under way. Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning, amid a pullback in oil.

At home, the UK benchmark index closed marginally lower yesterday, shedding 3.49 points to end the session 0.05 percent lower at 7,413.44, pressured by a drop in AstraZeneca (LON:AZN), whose shares lost 3.45 percent to close at 5,013.0p, following a report that the group’s chief executive Pascal Soriot might leave the company for Teva.
There are no major macroeconomic announcements out of Europe this morning. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US consumer price index and retail sales data for June are due out at 13:30 BST, to be followed by the preliminary Michigan consumer confidence index for July at 15:00 BST. In corporate developments, Reuters reports that Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox is unlikely to offer any new concessions to protect the editorial independence of Sky, increasing the chance that the takeover deal goes to a lengthy investigation.

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