FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up with earnings in focus

on Feb 20, 2018

The UK benchmark index looks set to open higher this morning, with investors set to focus on corporate earnings. Hong Kong- and London-listed HBSC Holdings (LON:HSBA) has updated investors on its full-year performance this morning.

FTSE seen higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.12 percent higher at 7,257 points. Investors are likely to ignore cues from Asia, where shares have been trading mostly lower this morning. Markets in China, Taiwan and Vietnam, however, remained closed on Tuesday for the Lunar New Year holiday. In the US, markets were closed yesterday for President’s Day.

“Whether other markets can continue their recovery depends to a large degree on how US stocks perform,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, as quoted by Reuters. “Volatility will also have to keep settling for the broader recovery to continue.”

At home, the FTSE 100 post a downbeat start to the week, shedding 47.04 points to end the session 0.64 percent lower at 7,247.66, with investors staying on the sidelines amid holidays in the US and China.

Tuesday’s releases

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the German consumer confidence index for March, scheduled to be released at 07:00 GMT, to be followed by the nation’s economic sentiment ZEW index for February at 10:00 GMT. The eurozone flash consumer confidence index for February meanwhile is scheduled to be released at 15:00 GMT.

On the corporate front, HSBC posted a rise in full-year profits and flagged plans to boost its capital base, while London- and Sydney-listed BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) revealed a surge in half-year profits.  InterContinental Hotels Group (LON:IHG) meanwhile is expected to post a rise in revenue and earnings for 2017.