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FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up after US tech rally

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The FTSE 100 looks set to open marginally lower this morning, following an upbeat lead from the US where tech shares rose last night. Sky (LON:SKY) will stay in focus on the corporate front today after Britain cleared Twenty-First Century Fox’s acquisition of the London-listed pay-TV provider, following the US group’s final proposal made to divest Sky News.

FTSE 100 seen lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start Wednesday’s trading 0.13 percent higher at 7,697 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US, where the Nasdaq rose to an all-time high, on the back of strong performance at tech giants Amazon and Netflix.

“I think it makes sense that we're seeing a rally in tech right now,” said Sylvia Jablonski, managing director of capital markets at Direxion on CNBC’s Closing Bell. “We’re seeing positive news around Apple announcing new software, new apps. Amazon's sales are growing, [and] Microsoft has the GitHub takeover.” Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning.

At home, the Footsie fell in the previous session, shedding 54.49 points to close 0.70 percent lower at 7,686.80. The index was pressured by a rise in the pound and a hefty fall in Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS), whose shares came under pressure as the government trimmed part of its stake in the bank at a loss to the taxpayer. The bailed-out lender’s shares closed 5.30 percent lower at 266.00p.

Wednesday’s agenda

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market this morning. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US trade balance for April will be announced at 13:30 BST. There are no blue-chips scheduled to update investors on their performance this morning.

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