FTSE 100 preview: Index seen little changed as US Congress passes tax bill

on Dec 21, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to open little changed this morning, with investors digesting the US tax bill. International markets have been little changed following the move.

FTSE 100 to open little changed

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.02 percent higher at 7,527 points. The index is set to take cues from the US, where stocks closed little changed last night as Congress approved a bill which would cut corporate taxes.

“There is positive momentum in the economy and the market, but we've had a big run-up recently, so now we’re just treading water,” said Lisa Erickson, head of traditional investments at US Bank Wealth Management, as quoted by CNBC. Asian shares meanwhile have slipped marginally lower this morning, while oil has been steady following a move higher in the previous session.

The FTSE 100 closed lower yesterday, shedding 18.87 points to end the session 0.25 percent lower at 7,525.22, with investors mulling over the tax reform on the other side of the Atlantic.

Thursday’s agenda

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the final estimate of the US’ third-quarter gross domestic product and IG reports that growth at the world’s biggest economy is forecast to remain unrevised at 3.3 percent. Closer to home, the flash December consumer confidence index for the eurozone is scheduled to be released at 15:00 GMT.

Blue-chips, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend today, include Burberry (LON:BRBY) and United Utilities (LON:UU). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 0.53 points off the Footsie. In other news, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza owner InterContinental Hotels Group (LON:IHG) has updated investors on the impact of the tax bill.