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FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up after Asia gains

The FTSE 100 looks set to open marginally higher this morning, tracking Asian stocks higher and shrugging off a downbeat lead from the US. On the corporate front, Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) has posted its first-quarter operations review, revealing challenges to iron ore business.

FTSE 100 seen higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.23 percent higher at 7,454 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from Asia, where stocks have advanced in afternoon trade, despite a downbeat lead from the US.

“The equity markets are facing some headwinds after their recent large gains,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, as quoted by Reuters. “That said, market sentiment is still relatively well supported as recent Chinese indicators proved to be strong and prompted the markets to readjust their views on the global economy.”

Stateside, shares fell last night amid disappointing earnings amid the ongoing reporting season. CNBC quoted Nick Raich, CEO of The Earnings Scout, as commenting in a note that the most important stat during this earnings season was the next quarter.

“The bad news is the magnitude of the EPS estimates cuts, are greater than normal,” he elaborated, adding that the good news was that “the EPS estimate revisions are less bad than last quarter”.

At home, the Footsie ended the first day of the Easter week little changed, giving up 0.19 points to close at 7,436.87, flat in percentage terms.

Tuesday’s releases

Today’s macroeconomic releases include UK employment data, due out at 09:30 BST. IG reports that the unemployment rate is expected to have inched to four percent from 3.9 percent in February, while the March claimant count is expected to have climbed by 5,000 from 27,000. Germany’s ZEW index for April is due to be posted at 10:00 BST.

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