FTSE 100 preview: Index to extend slide as Fed meeting looms

Written by: Alice Young
December 18, 2018

The FTSE 100 looks set to open in the red this morning, extending Monday’s slide, following a downbeat lead from the US ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting due to start later today. Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) will be in focus today amid the latest developments over the group’s and Eni’s controversial purchase of an oilfield in Nigeria in 2011.

FTSE 100 seen lower

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IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.62 percent lower at 6,731 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US where shares fell last night in the run-up to the Fed’s policy meeting. CNBC reports that the US central bank is widely expected to hike its benchmark overnight lending rate for a fourth and final time when it unveils its monetary policy decision tomorrow. Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US lower this morning.

In Brexit developments, Reuters reports that Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she would bring her Brexit deal back to parliament for a mid-January vote, pledging to get assurances from the European Union before then to break a deadlock over the country’s efforts to quit the bloc.

At home, the FTSE 100 posted a hefty fall yesterday, giving up 71.93 points to close 1.05 percent lower at 6,773.24, pressured by a selloff in retailers following smaller London-listed peer Asos’ (LON:ASC) profit warning.

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Tuesday’s statements

Today’s macroeconomic releases include Germany’s IFO business climate index for December, due out at 09:00 GMT. In the US, the nation’s housing starts and building permits for November will be announced at 13:30 GMT.

In company developments, Reuters reports that an Italian judge has ruled that Shell and Eni were fully aware that their 2011 purchase of a Nigerian oilfield would result in corrupt payments to Nigerian politicians and officials.