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FTSE 100 preview: Index looking up despite trade war fears

The FTSE 100 index looks set to start the new week on the front foot, despite ongoing concerns over a trade war between the US and China. Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) will be in focus on the corporate front today amid renewed expectations that Alison Rose will succeed Ross McEwan at the top job.

FTSE 100 seen higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.39 percent higher at 7,282 points. The blue-chip is likely to take cues from Asia where shares climbed higher this morning, finding support in the yuan’s stronger-than-expected daily fixing.

Ryan Felsman, senior economist at CommSec, told Reuters there was a “positive reaction” to Monday’s fixing, including a pick-up in the Australian dollar, as it reassured investors that China won’t steadily weaken the yuan. In the US, shares fell on Friday, as President Donald Trump told reports that Washington was not ready for a trade deal with Beijing.

“He believes the trade war impacts China much more than the U.S. In his mind, you can close up the US economy,” Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank, commented, as quoted by CNBC. “At the same time, you’ve got China doing the same thing.”

In the UK, the FTSE 100 fell on Friday, giving up 32.05 points to end trading 0.44 percent lower at 7,253.85, pressured over political uncertainty and US-China trade worries.

Quiet Monday ahead

There are no major macroeconomic releases to guide the market this Monday, and with the earnings season winding down, there are no blue-chips scheduled to update investors on their performance. Later in the week, however, investors will see updates from TUI Group (LON:TUI), Admiral (LON:ADM) and Prudential (LON:PRU).

In other FTSE 100 company developments, Sky News reports that RBS has picked Alison Rose to become its next chief executive, making her the first woman to head one of Britain’s biggest high street lenders.

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