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FTSE 100 preview: Fresh US-China tensions to pressure index

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The FTSE 100 looks set to start the new week on the back foot, with prospects for further trade tensions between the US and China likely to weigh on market sentiment. Tesco (LON:TSCO) will be in focus today amid reports that it is planning to axe stores as it prepares to launch its new discount chain.

Index to open lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.16 percent lower at 7,292 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from Asia, where shares have been subdued this morning amid reports in Bloomberg, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal that the US is likely to announce more tariffs on Chinese imports.

“Further escalation looks very likely in which the rate will likely be raised to 25 percent and more US tariffs threatened, while China may potentially pull out of trade talks entirely and escalate on the new front of outright export restrictions,” wrote analysts at JPMorgan, as quoted by Reuters. “This would of course only inflame the situation further.” US shares rose on Friday, but gains remained limited amid prospects for more tariffs on China.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 rose in the previous session, adding 22.47 points to close 0.31 percent higher at 7,304.04.

Monday’s agenda

This Monday’s macroeconomic releases include August inflation data for the eurozone, due out at 10:00 BST. In the US, the NY Empire State manufacturing index will be announced at 13:30 BST. In company news, The Sunday Times reports that Tesco is planning to shut a raft of city centre stores and convert dozens of others to Jack’s, its new discount format, in a move that will put thousands of jobs at risk.

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