FTSE 100 to start slightly higher as a quick lull in Trump, election and Brexit chat gives sentiments a moment to rebuild

The FTSE 100 is set to start Thursday on the front foot amid a likely-short lull to the distractions of politics.

Donald Trump managed to leave the UK without much more controversial soundbites, although the spectre of the Chinese trade war is never far from the markets awareness.

Not for the first time, investor sentiment is tentatively rebuilding amid hopes that progress can be made between the US and Chinese governments. This saw equity markets recover a little yesterday.

“While sceptical, given President Trumps comments earlier in the week the rebound, while fairly modest, suggests that there is enough doubt there to compel investors not to get too pessimistic about a positive outcome quite yet,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets.

“Ultimately, well only know what the true state of play is as we get closer to 15th December and the decision on the implementation of tariffs on the remaining $150bn of Chinese goods.”

Of course, Trumps trade war is only one of the political distractions – the other being the UK general election and Brexit.

Hewson added: “The pound broke to the upside yesterday, as President Trump came and went while managing to avoid courting controversy over the NHS, and by virtue of that putting Boris Johnson in a difficult spot.

“As a result of that currency markets appear to be starting to price out the prospect that Labour might win a majority at next weeks election.

“Having been so negative on the pound for so long, markets are starting to believe in the prospect that we could well start to see the prospect of an orderly withdrawal from the EU in the next two months, and thus short positions are starting to get squeezed out, sending the currency to its best levels against the euro since before the 2017 election.”

IG Markets sees the FTSE 100 rising around 13 points ahead of todays open, with the CFD and spreadbetting firm making a price of 7,191 to 7,194 with just over an hour to go until the start of trading.

Last night on Wall Street, the Dow Jones rallied 146 points or 0.53% to close at 27,649.

The S&P 500 recovered 0.63% to 3,112 and the Nasdaq climbed 0.54% to finish Wednesday at 8,566.

In Asia, meanwhile, Japans Nikkei this morning rose by 164 points or 0.71% to 23,300 while Hong Kongs Hang Seng was lifted by 0.51% to 26,194, and, the Shanghai Composite added 0.67% to 2,897.

Attentions will later today be on OPECs meeting in Vienna, with crude prices already beginning to rise amid calls among some members for price supporting production cuts.

Around the markets

Pound: US$1.3107, up 0.02%

Gold: US$1,476 per ounce, up 0.2%

Brent crude: US$62.81 per barrel, up 3.1%

Bitcoin: US$7,297, up 2.21%

Significant announcements expected for Thursday December 5:

Finals: Daily Mail & General Trust PLC (LON:DMGT), Victrex plc (LON:VCT)

Interims: DS Smith plc (LON:SMDS),

Trading announcements: IG Group Holdings PLC (LON:IGG)

Ex-dividends to knock 0.3 points off the FTSE 100: Next PLC (LON:NXT)

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