FTSE 100 set for a cautious start at the open

Asian markets have given the FTSE 100 a mixed lead heading into a week where investors will likely have a more local focus.

Can the FTSE 100 sustain the rally?

FTSE 100 shares look set to start the week off on a slightly positive note as investors shift their focus back to Europe.

At 02:00 GMT, FTSE 100 Futures were up 11 points, or 0.2%, to 5,824 points. In Weekend Trading with IG, the FTSE 100 rose 15 points, or 0.3% per cent, to around 5,847 points.

Asian shares gave the FTSE 100 a mixed lead with Tokyo’s TOPIX index down 7 points, or 0.5%, to 1,436 points. Australia’s ASX 200 was also in negative territory, down 26 points, or 0.5%, to 5461 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.6%, or 374 points, to 24,380 points.

By comparison, the benchmark UK index has booked a modest 0.7% increase in the last week to finish at 5,787.00 points. This is 18% higher than the intra-session low of 4,898.90 reached on March 16.

More local data for UK investors to chew over

While the economic data and financial results in the previous shortened trading week was dominated by the US and China, this week UK investors will likely have a more local focus.

IHS Markit flash purchasing managers’ indices (PMI) will be published for April. Last month, the services sector in both the UK and the eurozone booked their worst readings ever. Manufacturing in both sectors also weakened.

In the US, investors will also get a look at April’s IHS Markit’s flash PMIs for a sign of how quarantine measures have impacted the services and manufacturing industries.

The latest US jobless claims data will be out on Thursday. Jobless claims have been touching unprecedented all-time highs in the US.

In Germany, Friday’s Ifo institute’s business climate survey data for April will give an insight into business confidence. Europe’s largest economy is starting to make noises about unwinding coronavirus restrictions on business.

A meeting of EU leaders on Thursday will also be in focus, as member states continue to negotiate the details of a combined funding proposal to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

On the front of UK company results, Tuesday will see Associated British Foods hand down its H1 earnings. Food and beverage companies have been a useful prism for investors to monitor the coronavirus pandemic as consumers engaged first in panic buying then spending cuts. London Stock Exchange Group will also hand down Q1 results on Tuesday, with Unilever following on Thursday.

In the US, beverage behemoth Coca-Cola and technology giant IBM will hand down Q1 earnings on Tuesday. Chipmaker Intel will report Q1 earnings on Friday, along with telecommunications provider Verizon and American Express.

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