FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up as trade war worries subside

on Mar 6, 2018

The UK benchmark index looks set to open higher this morning, with easing worries over a potential trade war set to buoy investor sentiment. GKN (LON:GKN) will be in focus on the corporate front, with investors eyeing the latest developments over Melrose’s (LON:MRO) hostile takeover bid.

Footsie to open higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will kick off the session 0.48 percent higher at 7,150 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US where shares rose last night, amid easing worries over a trade war.

“We’re in an uncertainty zone with investors asking: ‘What’s going on?’ with regards to protectionism and trade,” said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners, as quoted by CNBC. “The first instinct seems to be risk-off as people buy into the bond proxies like utilities.” Asian shares have also regained some ground this morning, tracking the US higher.

In the UK, the nation’s blue-chip index rose yesterday, adding 46.08 points to end the session 0.65 percent higher at 7,115.98, with investors shrugging off worries over the political uncertainty in Italy. Housebuilders lent support to the Footsie after Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled a draft policy to overhaul planning laws.

Tuesday’s agenda

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the markets this morning. On the corporate front, Intertek (LON:ITRK), Just Eat (LON:JE) and Ashtead (LON:AHT) are scheduled to update investors on their performance. In company news, The Telegraph reports that MPs are calling on Melrose to voluntarily submit its takeover plan for GKN to the Pensions Regulator for approval to show that the security of the retirement scheme would not be harmed by the takeover deal.


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