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FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up amid trade talks optimism

The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day of the week in positive territory, boosted by prospects of trade talks between the US and China. Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (LON:RBS) boss has been accused of misleading MPs over an investigation into alleged bribery at the bailed-out lender.

Index to open higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start trading 0.32 percent higher at 7,305 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from Asia, where shares have mostly advanced this morning, following news of a possible new round of talks between Washington and Beijing.

“The news on Wednesday that US officials had invited China to restart trade talks suggests that the announcement of tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports may be delayed. But we think the chance that fresh talks will defuse trade tensions is low,” Capital Economics analysts said in a note, as quoted by Reuters. US shares rose last night, with a recovery in Apple shares helping boost investor sentiment.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 fell in the previous session, giving up 31.79 points to close 0.43 percent lower at 7,281.57, as investors digested central bank decisions.

Friday’s releases

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further this morning. In the US, the retail sales data for August will be announced at 13:30 BST, to be followed by the preliminary September Michigan consumer confidence index at 15:00 BST.

In other news, The Times reports that RBS’ boss Ross McEwan has been accused of deliberately misleading MPs in order to avoid disclosing a police investigation into an alleged bribery scandal at the bank’s restructuring unit.

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