FTSE 100 outlook: weekend futures point to soft Tuesday open

We examine some of the key market developments that investors should keep an eye on in the coming week.

Key takeaways:

  • The IG Weekend UK 100 index edged lower over Easter, as investors take last week’s profits and gear up for key economic data, headlined by US jobless claims.
  • Q1 results from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs will also be closely watched, along with oil prices.

After booking an 8.6% gain over four trading sessions before Easter, the benchmark FTSE 100 Index lost momentum during weekend trade on the IG platform.

This week’s trading looks set to be dominated by big data releases and company earnings out of the US, particularly jobless claims on Thursday. Traders will also have their eye on statistics out of China, along with the oil price after a production cut deal from OPEC+ nations.

FTSE 100 Weekend Trading points to soft Tuesday open

The FTSE 100 Weekend Index has traded flat following Thursday's bullish session. Indeed, by Sunday morning (London time), the index had risen off its weekend lows to edge back above 5,860.

This price action precedes what may be a cautious open on Tuesday after the Easter break, as investors try to dissect what’s happening to the world’s largest economy.

On Tuesday, we start with Q1 earnings calls from US banking giant JPMorgan, with chief executive Jamie Dimon back at work after emergency heart surgery, and multinational Johnson & Johnson, which has joined the race for a Covid-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, the US will publish retail sales and industrial output figures, which will give investors insight into the initial damage done to the US economy by the coronavirus from a consumer and industrial perspective.

Investors will also get earnings calls from investment bank Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth Group, a company involved in the provision of healthcare products and insurance.

On Thursday, investors will get on update on the UK retail sector, with the release of the British Retail Consortium’s year-on-year retail sales statistics.

The question will be how large a contraction shows up and whether that’s enough to change investor minds either way. UK retail shares got a lot of attention last week, with online retailers ASOS and boohoo rocketing.

But the big news will be US jobless claims. Millions of American workers have been pushed into unemployment by the coronavirus shutdown. The numbers will reveal what trends are emerging in the data, after jobless claims rose to a new record high of 6.6 million, for the week ending 3 April.

On Friday, investors can take a look at China’s Q1 GDP, as well as retail sales and industrial output numbers for March. All should still be diminished as movement restrictions in Wuhan, Covid-19’s ground zero, have only just been lifted.

In the eurozone, the final inflation rate for March will be out on Friday. It’s expected to confirm subdued price rises. While output has been disrupted by the pandemic, weak demand and a low oil price should keep inflation subdued.

Finally, South African private hospital operator Mediclinic International, which is listed in London, will report its full-year results.

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