FTSE 100 preview: Downbeat start ahead amid Brexit gloom

on Jan 22, 2019
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The FTSE 100 looks set to start the day on the back foot, with investors digesting Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan B. On the corporate front, easyJet (LON:EZJ) is due to update investors on its first-quarter performance.

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FTSE 100 seen lower

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IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.39 percent lower at 6,944 points. Brexit is set to remain in focus today as Prime Minister Theresa May offered to tweak her Brexit deal by seeking further concessions from the EU on the Irish border.

“Brexit remains a major concern for UK markets and progress appears to be limited,” Nick Twidale, Sydney-based analyst at Rakuten Securities Australia, told Reuters. “With deadlines fast approaching and what seems to be a real impasse between the various sides involved, the prospect of a hard ‘no deal’ Brexit appears to becoming more likely.”

Asian shares meanwhile have fallen into the red this morning, as the International Monetary Fund trimmed its global growth forecast for the current year. US markets meanwhile remained closed last night for Martin Luther King Day. In the UK, the Footsie closed little changed yesterday, adding 2.23 points to end trading 0.03 percent higher at 6,970.59, as Theresa May outlined her Plan B.

Tuesday’s releases

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Today’s macroeconomic statements include UK employment data due out at 09:30 GMT and IG reports that December claimant count is expected to have risen by 10,000, from 21,900 a month earlier, while the November unemployment rate is forecast to have held at 4.1 percent, and average earnings for November to have climbed by three percent (including bonus) from 3.3 percent a month earlier.

In the US, the nation’s existing home sales for December will be announced at 15:00 GMT. On the corporate front, in addition to low-cost carrier easyJet’s Q1 update, investors will also eye results from Anglo-Australian miner BHP (LON:BLT).

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