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FTSE 100 preview: Trade war worries to pressure Footsie

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The FTSE 100 looks set to start the day in the red, pressured by the ongoing trade war worries which have weighed on market sentiment around the world. On the corporate front, investors will digest updates by United Utilities (LON:UU) and Intertek (LON:ITRK).

FTSE 100 seen lower

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.48 percent lower at 7,299 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US where shares fell last night, pressured by trade worries.

“A few weeks ago, it looked like a trade deal was imminent. The market was about three percent higher than it is now. I would think that if we got a resolution, we’d go back to around those levels,” said Ed Keon, chief investment strategist at QMA, as quoted by CNBC. “On the other hand, if we do go into a full-blown trade war […] then I suspect it would be a much bigger event for the market.” Asian shares meanwhile have tracked the US lower this morning.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 closed little changed yesterday, giving up 5.27 points to end trading 0.07 percent lower at 7,334.19. Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) proved a drag on the index giving up more than nine percent, following its full-year update.

Thursday’s releases

Today’s European macroeconomic calendar starts with the final estimate for Germany’s first-quarter gross domestic product, due out at 07:00 BST, to be followed by the flash May manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) for France, Germany and the eurozone due out between 08:15 BST and 09:00 BST. Germany’s IFO business climate index for May is out at 09:00 BST. In the US, the flash manufacturing and services PMI for May will be released at 14:45 BST, to be followed by the nation’s new home sales at 15:00 BST.

On the corporate front, water utility United Utilities and support services group Intertek are scheduled to update investors on their performance this morning.

FTSE 100 companies, whose shares will be trading without the attraction of their latest dividend in today’s session, include Bunzl (LON:BNZL), Carnival (LON:CCL), DCC (LON:DCC), Imperial Brands (LON:IMB) and Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW). Reuters’ calculations suggest that ex-divs will knock 3.02 points off the Footsie.

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