FTSE 100 preview: Index to open lower on last day of November

on Nov 30, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the last day of November on the back foot, following a downbeat lead from Asia. Unilever (LON:ULVR) will be in focus today amid reports that its spreads business auction has narrowed to three funds.

Index to open lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the day 0.31 percent lower at 7,371 points. The blue-chip index is expected to extend the previous session’s losses with Asian markets falling this morning, led lower by technology stocks. The sector also came under pressure in the US last night. The Dow, however, closed at an all-time high following upbeat GDP data.

“There’s a lot of momentum” in the US economy and that’s being reflected in stocks, said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, as quoted by CNBC. “I can't think of anything other than a black-swan event that would derail it.”

At home, the FTSE 100 retreated yesterday, shedding 67.09 points to end the session 0.90 percent lower at 7,393.56, pressured by a rise in sterling, which found support in news that Brexit talks had reached a breakthrough.

Thursday’s calendar

Investors have a lot to look forward to on the macroeconomic front today, with German unemployment data for November due out at 08:55 GMT, to be followed by November inflation and October unemployment numbers for the eurozone at 10:00 GMT. On the company front, Aviva (LON:AV) is scheduled to hold a Capital Markets Day.

Blue-chips, whose shares will trade without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG), Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT), Land Securities (LON:LAND) and Severn Trent (LON:SVT). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 1.33 points off the Footsie. In other company news, Reuters reports that private equity firms Apollo, KKR and CVC Capital Partners are the final three parties left bidding for Unilever’s margarine and spreads business.