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FTSE 100 preview: Fed rate cut hopes to lift index

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The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day of the week in positive territory amid hopes that the US Federal Reserve would move to trim rates. On the corporate front, Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (LON:RBS) search for a new boss remains ongoing.

Index looking up

IG’s opening calls suggest that the UK benchmark index will start trading 0.50 percent higher at 7,530 points. In the US, shares rose last night after New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said that nation’s the central bank needed to ‘act quickly’. CNBC quoted Williams as commenting in a speech that it was “better to take preventative measures than to wait for disaster to unfold”. Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US higher this morning.

“Dovish Fed policy expectations do provide support for the equity markets, which are set to rebound after suffering losses the previous day,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, as quoted by Reuters. “But factors such as US-China trade issues and tensions over Iran are likely to limit the markets’ gains.”

In the UK, the Footsie fell in the previous session, giving up 42.37 points to end trading 0.56 percent lower at 7,493.09, pressured by worries over the US-China trade relations.

Friday’s agenda

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe due out this morning to guide the market further. In the US, the preliminary Michigan consumer confidence index for July is scheduled to be released at 15:00 BST. There are no FTSE 100 stocks scheduled to update investors on their performance this morning. In other news, part state-owned RBS has said that its outgoing chief executive officer Ross McEwan has been appointed as CEO of National Australia Bank, and that its search for a successor to McEwan remains ongoing.

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