FTSE 100 preview: Index seen little changed as worries persist

FTSE 100 preview: Index seen little changed as worries persist
Written by:
Alice Young
24th January 2019
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The FTSE 100 looks set to open marginally higher this Thursday, with worries over global growth and the US government shut down weighing on sentiment. Barclays (LON:BARC) will be in focus today as its former bosses were accused of making secret payments to Qatar during the financial crisis.

Muted start ahead

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.04 percent higher at 6,845 points. In the US, shares rose last night, as investors digested corporate earnings. Gains, however, were capped amid the ongoing government shutdown and the country’s trade relations with China. Asian shares meanwhile have been subdued this morning.

“Above all, (investors) are wary there’s a possibility that the economic slowdown will go on amid the uncertainty over the US-China trade tension,” said Harumi Taguchi, principal economist at IHS Markit, as quoted by Reuters.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 posted another drop, giving up 58.51 points to close 0.85 percent lower at 6,8423.88, pressured by worries over Brexit, global growth and the US-China trade relations.

Thursday’s agenda

Investors have a lot to look out for on the macroeconomic front today, starting with Germany’s flash manufacturing and services purchasing managers indices (PMIs) for January, due out at 08:30 GMT. The European Central Bank will announce its rate decision at 12:45 GMT, to be followed by the traditional press conference at 13:30 GMT, while in the US, the nation’s flash manufacturing and services PMIs for January will be unveiled at 14:45 GMT.

On the corporate front, investors will eye updates by Anglo American (LON:AAL) and St James’s Place (LON:STJ). There are no FTSE 100 companies whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session. In other news, Sky News reports that four former Barclays Bank senior executives have been accused of disguising and hiding a £322-million payment to Qatari investors during the 2008 financial crisis.

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