The UK benchmark index looks set to open higher this morning, amid improved global market sentiment and upbeat manufacturing data out of China, the world’s top metals consumer. Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) will be in focus on the corporate front today with the company set to leave the FTSE 100 following the latest reshuffle.
IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 13 points higher at 7,387. The miner-heavy index is expected to advance after data showed this morning that China’s factory growth had unexpectedly picked up last month.
“The price-driven recovery will continue at least in the third quarter”, said Raymond Yeung, Greater China chief economist for ANZ in Hong Kong, as quoted by Reuters.
In the US, stocks rose last night, led higher by the technology sector, and following upbeat growth data. Asian shares have been mixed this morning. At home, the Footsie rose yesterday, adding 27.83 points to close 0.38 percent higher at 7,365.26, finding support in weaker sterling.
Today’s macroeconomic releases include Germany’s unemployment rate for August, due out at 08:55 BST, to be followed by flash inflation figures for July and unemployment data for August for the eurozone at 10:00 BST. In the US, the Chicago purchasing managers’ index for August is scheduled to be released at 14:45 BST. In other news, CNBC reports that today will mark the final day of the third round of Brexit negotiations, which are currently taking place in Brussels.
On the corporate front, Royal Mail is out of the FTSE 100 following a 12-percent slide in the shares since the previous index reshuffle in June. Blue-chips, whose shares are going ex-dividend in today’s session, include Croda (LON:CRDA), G4S (LON:GFS), Hammerson (LON:HMSO), InterContinental Hotels Group (LON:IHG) and St James’s Place (LON:STJ). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 1.15 points off the FTSE 100.