FTSE 100 preview: Downbeat start ahead amid geopolitical concerns

FTSE 100 preview: Downbeat start ahead amid geopolitical concerns

The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last day of February on the back foot, with investors digesting the latest geopolitical and Brexit news. Investors also have a lot to look forward to on the corporate front today, including Rolls-Royce’s (LON:RR) full-year results.

Index to open lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.43 percent lower at 7,077 points. Geopolitics will be in focus toady as CNBC reported this morning that the White House had said that the nuclear summit in Vietnam between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was cut short and no agreement was reached. 

At home, Reuters reports that Prime Minister Theresa May had won a two-week reprieve on from MPs who postponed a rebellion aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit as she agreed to a possible delay the country’s departure from the EU.

Stateside, shares mostly fell last night amid worries over the trade relations between the US and China, while Asian shares have fallen this morning, further pressured by the tensions between India and Pakistan.

In the UK, the Footsie retreated in the previous session, giving up 43.92 points to close 0.61 percent lower at 7,107.20, with a rise in the pound on the back of Brexit delay hopes pressuring the index.

Thursday’s releases

Today’s macroeconomic statements include Germany’s preliminary consumer price index for February, due out at 13:00 GMT. In the US, the nation’s fourth-quarter gross domestic product will be announced at 13:30 GMT, to be followed by Chicago’s purchasing managers’ index for February at 14:45 GMT.

On the corporate front, Rolls-Royce is reporting today, along with Rentokil (LON:RTO), RSA Insurance (LON:RSA), British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) and International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG).

Blue-chips, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend today, include easyJet (LON:EZJ), Diageo (LON:DGE), AstraZeneca (LON:AZN), Micro Focus (LON:MCRO) and Barclays (LON:BARC). Reuters calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 13.9 points off the benchmark index.

By Alice Young
Alice joined the Invezz team after motherhood convinced her to make a career change from actuary-ing. She brings a forensic eye for detail developed through crunching numbers on underwriting satellite insurance and the like.
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