FTSE 100 preview: US healthcare bill concerns to pressure index

on Jul 18, 2017

The FTSE 100 looks set to open in the red this morning, pressured by concerns over the US healthcare bill. On the corporate front, Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) is scheduled to update investors on its trading performance.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the UK benchmark index will start the day 0.19 percent lower at 7,390 points. The FTSE 100 is likely to take cues from Asia, where stocks have retreated in today’s session amid doubts whether a new healthcare bill in the US would pass.
“Trump’s falling popularity, although it was not spectacular from the beginning, is another hurdle for pushing for the changes, and that will be negative for the US economy and the dollar,” Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities, told Reuters. US stocks, however, rose last night boosted by positive sentiment over the ongoing earnings season.

“Folks are waiting to see what earnings look like,” said Erick Ormsby, CEO of Alcosta Capital Management, as quoted by CNBC. “They should be good. That should help support the market.”
The FTSE 100 started the week on the front foot yesterday, adding 25.74 points to close 0.35 percent higher at 7,404.13.
Today’s macroeconomic agenda includes the UK consumer price index for June, due out at 09:30 BST. IG reports that the index is expected to have climbed 2.7 percent year-on-year and 0.1 percent month-on-month, from 2.9 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. The German economic sentiment ZEW index is scheduled to be released at 10:00 BST.
In company updates, Royal Mail is scheduled to post a trading statement. The results will come against the background of a pension row as the Communication Workers Union rejected the postal operator’s newest pension scheme offer.