FTSE 100 preview: Muted start ahead after hefty fall

FTSE 100 preview: Muted start ahead after hefty fall
Written by:
Alice Young
24th May 2018

The UK benchmark index looks set to open little changed this morning, following a downbeat lead from Asia. On the corporate front, Kingfisher (LON:KGF) is due to post results.

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Muted start for FTSE 100

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.01 percent lower at 7,788 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from Asia where shares have been subdued this morning with concerns over the trade relations between the US and China resurfacing. In the US, shares reversed losses following the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

"The market was bracing for a hawkish tone to the meeting minutes and what they got was symmetric and balanced in terms of the language," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors, as quoted by CNBC.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 shed 89.01 points to end the session 1.13 percent lower at 7,788.44, pressured by a selloff in mining shares.

“Signs of détente between the US and China have decreased, reviving the great trade war fear, while the deterioration in Japanese and eurozone PMIs have sent chills down the spines of those hoping that the synchronised global expansion had further to run”, said Chris Beauchamp, an analyst at IG, as quoted by Reuters.

Thursday’s calendar

Today’s macroeconomic releases include Germany’s GfK consumer confidence index for June, due out at 07:00 BST, to be followed by UK retail sales data for April at 09:30 BST. In the US, the nation’s existing home sales figures for April are out at 15:00 BST. On the corporate front, blue-chips reporting today include United Utilities (LON:UU) and Kingfisher (LON:KGF).

FTSE 100 companies, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include Bunzl (LON:BNZL), Carnival (LON:CCL), DCC (LON:DCC), Imperial Brands (LON:IMB), Morrisons (LON:MRW) and Whitbread (LON:WTB). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 3.20 points off the Footsie.

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