Politics

FTSE 100 set for gains as UK plots way out of lockdown

The FTSE 100 is being called higher ahead of Tuesdays open as traders take confidence from plans to reopen the UK from the coronavirus lockdown.

Londons blue chip index was pencilled more than 82 points higher by spread betters on the IG platform, a day after the benchmark having lost nine points to 5,753.

Confidence will also be taken from Wall Street, where stocks made modest gains overnight as investors shrugged off the renewed trade tensions between the US and China that had caused a wobble at the end of last week.

The Dow Jones rose 26 points or 0.1% to 23,749.76, while the broader S&P 500 added 0.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 1.2%.

Asian markets are generally in the green on Tuesday, though most of the major economies are closed for public holidays, including Japan, mainland China and South Korea. The Hang Seng was up 0.9% and the Asia Dow up 0.6%.

A rebound in oil prices may help the Footsie and is indicative of wider optimism, said Michael Hewson, market analyst at CMC Markets.

“The rebound in the oil price was largely driven by expectations of a pickup in demand as governments continue to gear up for the gradual easing of various states of lockdown, as Italy and Spain relaxed some restrictions, while the UK government outlined its latest guidelines, or blueprint for what is required for a limited restarting of the UK economy.”

A contact-tracing was launched on the Isle of Wight overnight as part of a trial designed to reopen the UK economy, though privacy concerns could put the kibosh on these plans.

Tuesday has virtually nothing in the UK corporate diary, but there are likely to still be some unscheduled updates as the coronavirus situation and there are two purchasing managers index surveys due at 9.30am.

The services and construction PMI reports are both likely to come in around all-time lows, with the important services PMI haven already given a flash reading of 12.3, giving an economic context as the government publishes its lockdown-lifting plans.

Around the markets

Pound up 0.2% to US$1.2464

Oil rallies, with Brent crude up 4% to US$28.30 per barrel and WIT up 6.2% to US$21.65

Gold flat at US$1673.05

Announcements expected on Tuesday May 5:

Trading updates: Getbusy PLC (LON:GETB)

AGMs: Anglo American PLC (LON:AAL)

Economic data: UK services PMI, US services PMI, US trade balance

Business headlines

FT

  • Johnson back to work plan puts UK business and unions at odds – employers and workers anxious over safety and legal risks of returning during coronavirus
  • Pay for more than 6m UK workers now covered by furlough scheme – Sunak says Treasury working on how to wind down programme but there will be no cliff edge
  • Milan edges out of lockdown – Italians are wary and business slow as some restrictions are relaxed
  • VW warns of rising costs as car market faces deep recession
  • Carmaker says suppliers are passing on higher charges for components in threat to industrys profits

The Times

  • Flood of virus loan requests as more than 100,000 small businesses applied for new state-backed loans within hours of their launch yesterday
  • Auditors EY under investigation by Financial Reporting Council over work on NMC Health
  • Legal & General has received planning consent to build what will be one of Britains biggest housing prRead More – Source
    [contf]
    [contfnew]

    Proactiveinvestors

    [contfnewc]
    [contfnewc]