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FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower amid US-China trade news

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The FTSE 100 looks set to start the shortened week in negative territory, with investors returning from a long weekend to news over the US and China trade relations. Premier Inn owner Whitbread (LON:WTB) will be in focus today amid reports for pressure from an activist investor.

Footsie seen lower

Reuters reports that the FTSE 100 is seen opening 19 points lower at 7,361 this morning, according to financial bookmakers. In the US, shares recovered some losses yesterday amid hopes for a trade deal between Washington and Beijing, despite a tweet by President Donald Trump suggesting tariffs on additional Chinese goods.

“What happened overnight is a bit of posturing on both sides. I think both sides want to continue the progress to reach a trade agreement,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, as quoted by CNBC. “I think it’s a short-term hiccup in a longer-term move up from the market.” Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning, with investors digesting the US-China trade developments.

At home, the Footsie closed higher on Friday, gaining 29.33 points to end trading 0.40 percent higher at 7,380.64, finding support in HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA), whose shares rose nearly two percent on the back of upbeat first-quarter results.

Monday’s releases

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further this morning. On the other side of the Atlantic, Canada’s seasonally-adjusted Ivey purchasing managers’ index for April will be announced at 15:00 BST.

There are no FTSE 100 companies scheduled to update investors on their performance. In other news, The Telegraph reports that activist Elliott Advisors is poised to renew its attack on Whitbread, putting it on a collision course with the blue-chip group’s boss Alison Brittain for the second time in little over a year.

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