FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up despite downbeat leads

on Apr 26, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
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The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day of the week higher, despite downbeat leads from the US and Asia. On the corporate front, Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) will continue the FTSE 100 banking reporting season.

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Steady start for FTSE 100

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IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.15 percent higher at 7,445 points. In the US, shares were mixed last night, with the Dow plunging as 3M’s earnings disappointed.

“With the earnings season approaching the halfway mark, the news has been good enough to keep bulls committed to their positions and there have been few examples of genuinely troubling news,” said Michael Shaoul, chairman and CEO of Marketfield Asset Management, in a note, as quoted by CNBC.

In Asia, shares have drifted off this morning, following the downbeat lead from the US and with investors waiting for growth data stateside later today.

The market is also looking toward next week when the Federal Reserve will hold its next policy meeting. A Reuters poll of analysts has found most believe that the Fed is done with tightening altogether.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 fell in the previous session, giving up 37.62 points to close 0.50 percent lower at 7,434.13, as investors digested corporate developments, including Barclays’ (LON:BARC) first-quarter results.

Friday’s releases

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There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further this morning. In the US, the advance estimate for the nation’s first-quarter gross domestic product is due out at 13:30 BST and IG reports that quarter-on-quarter growth is expected to have slowed to 1.8 percent from 2.2 percent.

On the corporate front, RBS will post its first-quarter update, having announced yesterday that its chief executive Ross McEwan was stepping down. Other blue-chips reporting today include AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) and WPP (LON:WPP).

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