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FTSE 100 preview: Footsie to track US and Asia lower

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The FTSE 100 looks set to open lower this Tuesday following downbeat leads from the US and Asia, and ahead of testimony by the Federal Reserve Chair later in the week. On the corporate front, online grocer Ocado’s (LON:OCDO) half-year results are likely to take the centre stage.

FTSE 100 seen lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.13 percent lower at 7,539 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US where shares retreated last night, pressured by a fall in Apple, and with investors awaiting Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony tomorrow.

“Friday’s employment data took the market by surprise. That dampens the prospects of the Fed acting,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, as quoted by CNBC. “They will have to collect further evidence” before deciding on their next monetary policy move. Asian shares have fallen into the red this morning, tracking the US lower.

“What the market will be looking for is whether the language is as dovish as previously (at last policy meeting),” said Christy Tan, head of market strategy for Asia at National Australia Bank, as quoted by Reuters. “There’s been some over-dovishness in what the Fed needs to do in the market.”

In the UK, the blue-chip index closed little changed yesterday, giving up 3.87 points to end trading 0.05 percent lower at 7,549.27. Imperial Brands (LON:IMB) was the session’s biggest riser in percentage terms, gaining 2.20 percent, with investors reacting positively to the tobacco maker’s move to unveil a £200-million share buyback.

Tuesday’s agenda

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe to guide the market further this morning.

On the corporate front, in addition to Ocado’s results, investors will also eye Micro Focus’ (LON:MCRO) interims and Marks & Spencer’s (LON:MKS) annual general meeting.

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