The FTSE 100 index looks set to open marginally higher this morning, despite worries over a potential trade war between the US and China, which have been weighing on global sentiment. On the corporate front, Unilever (LON:ULVR) is expected to announce plans to move to Rotterdam.
Muted start ahead
IG’s opening calls suggest that Britain’s blue-chip index will start the session 0.11 percent higher at 7,141 points. Investors are likely to shrug off a downbeat lead from the US, where shares fell last night, with President Donald Trump seeking to impose tariffs on China. Asian shares meanwhile have been subdued this morning.
“While US and Chinese officials could be negotiating behind the scenes in an attempt to prevent the situation from worsening, the markets will remain concerned as long as President Trump seems to be going his own way on the matter,” wrote Xiao Minjie, China-focused senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Reuters.
The Footsie closed little changed yesterday, shedding 6.09 points to end the session 0.09 percent lower at 7,132.69, amid ongoing worries about a trade war.
While there are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe this morning, in the US, investors will watch out for the NY Empire State manufacturing index and the Philadelphia Fed index for March, scheduled to be released at 12:30 GMT.
In corporate updates, Old Mutual (LON:OML) is set to post results today. Blue-chips, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include Anglo American (LON:AAL) and Hammerson (LON:HMSO). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 1.37 points off the FTSE 100. In other news, The Times reports that Unilever is set to announce a plan to move its headquarters and domicile to Rotterdam in a severe blow to the UK government.