FTSE 100 preview: Index to start May higher

on May 1, 2019

The FTSE 100 looks set to start May on the front foot, despite mixed leads from the US and the Asia-Pacific. Investors will have more corporate releases to focus on today, including J Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) full-year results.

FTSE 100 seen higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.44 percent higher at 7,451 points. In the US, shares were mixed last night, with the Nasdaq posting a hefty fall, dragged lower by Alphabet, whose revenue missed forecasts.

“Earnings sentiment has improved in April, with a slight bias towards upward revisions,” Lori Calvasina, head of US equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note on Monday, as quoted by CNBC. “The macro backdrop/underlying demand were simply not nearly as bad as feared in 1Q19 […] We think Corporate America did everything within its powers in 1Q19 to support earnings growth and defend margins.

In Australia, shares have advanced this morning, while most of Asia remains closed for holidays. At home, the Footsie fell in the previous session, giving up 22.44 points to end trading 0.30 percent lower at 7,418.22 as investors digested the latest batch of corporate releases.

Wednesday’s agenda

In macroeconomic releases, the UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for April will be announced at 09:30 BST, and IG reports that activity is expected to have slowed last month, with the index falling to 53.2, from 55.1. In the US, the ADP unemployment report is out at 13:15 BST, to be followed by the nation’s manufacturing PMI at 15:00 BST. Investors will also eye the outcome of the Federal Reserve policy meeting which will be announced at 19:00 BST, after the UK market closes.

Today’s corporate releases include Sainsbury’s preliminary results, which will come after the UK competition watchdog rejected the group’s proposed tie-up with Walmart’s Asda. GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK), Next (LON:NXT) and Persimmon (LON:PSN) also report today.