FTSE 100 watch: Index seen lower as North Korea fires missile over Japan

on Aug 29, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the shortened week on the back foot, with North Korea’s move to launch a missile expected to weigh on sentiment. In company news, internal candidates are reportedly vying for the top job at easyJet (LON:EZJ).

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the day 0.53 percent lower at 7,362 points. UK investors will return from the long weekend to news that North Korea has fired a missile over northern Japan, fuelling worries of fresh tension between Washington and Pyongyang.

“The missile flew across Japan this time, so the implications will likely be a bit different from previous ones,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Reuters. The move has sent Asian stocks tumbling this morning, while fuelling demand for the yen. In the US, stocks were mixed last night, as hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston and other parts of Texas over the weekend.

“With some of the major refineries closing down in Houston, we’re seeing fireworks in gasoline prices, a move which is being reflected in refinery stocks,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, as quoted by CNBC.

The Footsie closed little changed on Friday, shedding 5.60 points to end the session 0.08 percent lower at 7,401.46, pressured by a selloff in retailers, as e-commerce giant Amazon said that it would trim prices for Whole Foods Market which it acquired earlier this year.

Today’s macroeconomic announcements include the German GfK consumer confidence index for September due out at 07:00 BST. In the US, the nation’s Conference Board consumer confidence index for August is scheduled to be released at 15:00 BST.

Bunzl (LON:BNZL) is the only blue-chip company scheduled to update investors on its performance this morning. In other news, The Times reports that easyJet’s chief operating officer, Chris Browne, previously at Tui Travel, is thought to be a frontrunner for the top job at the company, as is Peter Duffy, its chief commercial officer.