FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower amid renewed Trump worries

on Aug 17, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to open lower this morning, pressured by concerns over US President Donald Trump’s latest moves. Banking stocks will be in focus in today’s session as the US filed what could turn into the largest Libor scandal-related lawsuit yet against some of Britain’s biggest lenders.

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start trading 0.30 percent lower at 7,410 points. Sentiment is likely to be subdued today following a lacklustre handover from the US, where gains were capped as President Trump announced the disbanding of two high-profile business advisory councils.

“The market is gauging future expectations for the Trump agenda,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, as quoted by CNBC. This, coupled with the back-and-forth with North Korea last week, “raises uncertainty about the path of future policies”. Asian shares meanwhile have edged marginally higher this morning.

At home, the Footsie rose in the previous session, adding 49.18 points to end the session 0.67 percent higher at 7,433.03, marking a third straight day of gains. The index was lifted by miners, which tracked copper prices higher. Glencore (LON:GLEN) was the session’s biggest riser in percentage terms, adding 4.23 percent to 345.25p, followed by peer Anglo American (LON:AAL), whose shares closed 3.62 percent higher at 1,286.50p.

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market this morning. On the corporate front, Kingfisher (LON:KGF) is scheduled to update investors on its performance. In other news, The Times reports that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has begun a High Court claim against banks including Barclays (LON:BARC), Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) and Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS), alleging that they colluded to hold down borrowing rates for several years.

Blue-chips, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include Ashtead (LON:AHT), British American Tobacco (LON:BATS), Imperial Brands (LON:IMB), Legal & General (LON:LGEN), Merlin (LON:MERL), Pearson (LON:PSON), Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RB), Schroders (LON:SDR) and Segro (LON:SGRO). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 9.64 points off the FTSE 100. 


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