Equities Indices UK

FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up despite mixed leads

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The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day of the week in positive territory, holding steady despite mixed leads from the US and Asia in the wake of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments. Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) will be in focus on the corporate front today, amid news of the departure of its clothing boss.

FTSE 100 seen higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start the session 0.35 percent higher at 7,536 points. In the US, shares were mixed last night, with the S&P and the Dow rallying, while the Nasdaq closed in negative territory.

“This week solidified the fact that the market doesn’t need, it doesn’t want, it’s demanding a rate cut from Powell,” said Jeff Kilburg, CEO of KKM Financial, as quoted by CNBC. “I do have a little bit of caution going into the earnings season because we have some forward-guidance uncertainty with the trade tensions, but the wind in the sails continues to be that dovish stance from Powell.” Asian shares meanwhile have been shaky this morning, with worries over the US-China trade relations partly offsetting the Fed Chair comments impact.

At home, the Footsie closed lower yesterday, giving up 20.87 points to end trading 0.28 percent lower at 7,509.82. Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) was the session’s biggest riser in percentage terms, benefitting from analyst comments in the wake of a trading update earlier in the week.

Friday’s agenda

There are no major macroeconomic releases out of Europe due out this morning. In the US, the nation’s producer price index will be announced at 13:30 BST. In FTSE 100 company news, The Times reports that the former Halfords boss put in charge of revitalising Marks & Spencer’s clothing division has been ousted less than two years after she joined the high street retailer, for presiding over a disaster that has been dubbed ‘jeansgate’.

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