FTSE 100 preview: Index seen higher after upbeat US session

on Oct 18, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to open higher this morning, following an upbeat session in the US, and with crude prices holding steady. In company news, J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) is poised to cut up to 2,000 jobs.

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Upbeat start for FTSE 100

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will open 0.12 percent higher at 7,539.9 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US where the Dow broke above 23,000 points for the first time on an intraday basis.

“We’ve had a very strong rally and we’re now digesting it,” said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics, as quoted by CNBC. “In general, I think we’re going to finish the year on a very strong note.” Asian shares meanwhile have consolidated recent gains. Oil prices have also been steady with tension in the Middle East continuing to fuel supply fears.

At home, the FTSE 100 shed 10.80 points to end the session 0.14 percent lower at 7,516.17, with investors digesting a string of corporate releases, as well as inflation data. Merlin Entertainments (LON:MERL) was the session’s most notable faller, giving up 15.94 percent, after revealing that recent terrorist attacks had impacted its revenue.

UK to unveil unemployment data, Sainsbury’s to cut jobs

Today’s macroeconomic releases include UK unemployment data, due out at 09:30 BST. IG reports that September claimant count is forecast to have climbed by 8,500 last month, from a fall of 2,800 a month earlier. On the other side of the Atlantic, US housing and building permits for September are scheduled to be released at 13:30 BST.

In company news, Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RB) is scheduled to update investors on its recent performance. Reuters meanwhile reports that Sainsbury’s is seeking to cut up to 2,000 jobs, mainly in its payroll and human resources departments.