FTSE 100 preview: Index seen steady at record highs

on Dec 29, 2017

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the last trading day of the year on the front foot, taking cues from the US. Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) will be in focus on the corporate front, with small shareholders pushing for an overhaul of the bank’s governance processes.

Steady start ahead

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the last session for the year 0.08 percent higher at 7,629 points.

The index is likely to take cues from the US, where shares rose on the second-to-last trading day of the year. CNBC quoted Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth, as commenting that those in the market “are hoping we might be able to make a new high at the close of the year”. Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning.

At home, the Footsie closed little changed yesterday, adding 2.20 points to end the session 0.03 percent higher at 7,622.88, with miners helping the blue-chip index hold on to record highs.

“It’s no real surprise to anyone that we’re pushing all-time highs as we get deep into Brexit talks towards the end of the year,” Henry Croft, research analyst at Accendo Markets, told Reuters. “But I think these latest highs have come predominantly thanks to gains for commodities, that on the back of US dollar weakness.”

Friday’s calendar

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the preliminary German inflation for December, due out at 13:00 GMT and IG reports that price growth is expected to have slipped to 1.5 percent year-on-year, from 1.8 percent. In company news, The Telegraph reports that small shareholders in RBS have mounted a fresh bid to overhaul the state-backed bank’s governance processes to give themselves more of a say in how it is run.