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FTSE 100 preview: Index seen lower ahead of BoE decision

The UK benchmark index looks set to open lower this morning, extending yesterday’s hefty losses, pressured by ongoing trade worries, and ahead of the Bank of England’s (BoE) rate decision later during the day. Today’s batch of corporate earnings include Rolls-Royce (LON:RR) and Barclays (LON:BARC).

FTSE 100 seen lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.41 percent lower at 7,621 points. Sentiment is likely to be subdued ahead of the BoE monetary policy decision, with the central bank largely expected to hike rates. Economists polled by Reuters mostly expect a seven-two vote by the BoE’s monetary policy committee in favour of a rate hike today.

The blue-chip index is also likely to be pressured by a downbeat lead from the US where shares were sold off last night on the back of ongoing trade concerns. The Federal Reserve meanwhile left rates unchanged in line with expectations. Asian shares have tracked the US lower this morning.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 tumbled yesterday, giving up 95.85 points to close 1.24 percent lower at 7,652.91, as investors digested corporate releases as well as the renewed trade tensions between the US and China.

Thursday’s agenda

Today’s calendar includes the UK construction purchasing managers’ index for July due out at 09:30 BST. The BoE rate decision will be announced at 12:00 BST.

On the corporate front, Barclays will continue the banking reporting season, while investors will also eye an update by Rolls-Royce, whose performance has been hit by issues with its Trent 1000 engines. Other blue-chips reporting today include RSA Insurance (LON:RSA), Aviva (LON:AV) and London Stock Exchange Group (LON:LSE).

FTSE 100 companies, whose shares are trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include Micro Focus (LON:MCRO), RELX (LON:REL) and Unilever (LON:ULVR). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 2.74 percent off the Footsie.

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