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FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower after lacklustre leads

The UK benchmark index looks set to open lower this morning, following mixed leads from the US and Asia. Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) is likely to stay in focus today in the aftermath of this week’s profit warning.

Blue-chip index seen lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.19 percent lower at 7,496 points. In the US, shares were mixed last night, as investors digested rising interest rates.

“Investors were looking for a rebound from last month’s muted results, and they got it,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade, as quoted by CNBC. “Economic reports, market movement, and even the Fed are all telling us one thing: The economy is in a solid place right now.” Asian shares have also been subdued this morning, following the uninspiring lead from the US.

The FTSE 100 rose in the previous session, buoyed by a fall in the pound amid the ongoing Tory conference. The index added 35.73 points to close 0.48 percent higher at 7,510.28. Tesco (LON:TSCO), however, proved a drag on the Footsie, giving up 8.59 percent to 215.00p, despite posting a rise in interim profits.

Thursday’s calendar

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe scheduled for this morning to direct the market further. In company news, City A.M. reports that a major Royal Mail investor has expressed anger at the postal operator’s management in the same week its shares have taken a battering.

Blue-chips, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV), Ferguson (LON:FERG) and ITV (LON:ITV). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 2.42 points off the FTSE 100.

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