FTSE 100 preview: Upbeat US and Asia leads to lift Footsie

on Apr 15, 2019

The FTSE 100 looks set to start the shortened Easter holiday week higher, finding support in positive leads from the US and Asia. In company developments, investors will digest news about British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) and Barclays (LON:BARC).

FTSE 100 seen higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.15 percent higher at 7,448 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US, where shares rose on Friday finding support in company earnings as the reporting season kicked off.

We’ve got a twin wind here,” said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director at US Bank Wealth Management, told CNBC. “We’ve got better-than-expect Chinese trade data and we’ve got a strong kick-off to earnings season. That’s pushing markets higher and instilling confidence with investors.

Asian shares have also advanced this morning, tracking the US higher, further boosted by optimism over the trade relations between Washington and Beijing. Reuters reported that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had said on Saturday that a US-China trade agreement would go ‘way beyond’ previous efforts to open China’s markets to US companies and hoped that the two sides were “close to the final round” of negotiations.

In the UK, the Footsie rose marginally on Friday, gaining 19.11 points to end trading 0.26 percent higher at 7,437.06, finding support in mining stocks and financials.

Monday’s agenda

There are no macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further this morning. In the US, the Empire state manufacturing index for April will be announced at 13:30 BST. There are no blue-chips scheduled to update investors on their performance this morning.

In corporate developments, The Times reports that British American Tobacco is under pressure to replace its long-serving chairman to comply with new corporate governance rules. The newspaper has also revealed that a leading shareholder advisory group told Barclays’ (LON:BARC) investors to oppose Edward Bramson’s boardroom bid.