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FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up despite mixed leads

The FTSE 100 looks set to kick off the last trading day of the week in positive territory, with investors shrugging off mixed leads from the US and Asia. The earnings season meanwhile continues with BT Group’s (LON:BT.A) first-quarter report. In other news, BP (LON:BP) has agreed to buy BHP Billiton’s (LON:BLT) US shale oil and gas assets for a total cash consideration of $10.5 billion.

Index looking up

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.28 percent higher at 7,684 points. Investors are likely to shrug off a downbeat lead from the US where shares were mixed last night, with Facebook’s latest results continuing to weigh on sentiment. Asian shares meanwhile have been mixed this morning amid lingering worries over the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China.

In the UK, the Footsie closed little changed yesterday, adding 4.91 points to end the session 0.06 percent higher at 7,663.17 as investors digested a string of corporate earnings as well as the outcome of the European Central Bank meeting, with the ECB keeping rates on hold.

Friday’s calendar

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further this morning. In the US, the first reading of the nation’s second-quarter gross domestic product is due out at 13:30 BST, to be followed by the final Michigan confidence index for July at 15:00 BST.

On the corporate front, investors will eye an update from BT, whose results will come after the group’s network division Openreach introduced discounts on fibre broadband for telecoms firms, with the move expected to pressure the division’s revenue and earnings this year. Other blue-chips reporting today include Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RB) and Pearson (LON:PSON).

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