The FTSE 100 is projected to gain 17 points, or roughly 0.3% in early trade today after snapping a five day winning streak on Monday, when the blue chip index lost just 0.1% amid a negative start on Wall Street, where all of the main indices declined.
In the UK, specialist distribution group Bunzl (LSE: BNZL) took the lead in the FTSE 100 with a gain fo nearly 4%. Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) followed with a 3.5% advance, while miners ENRC (LSE: ENRC) and Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) were up 3%.
Insurer Old Mutual (LSE: OML), bank Lloyds (LSE: LLOY), software developer ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) and copper miner Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) all added slightly more than 2%.
Clothing retailer Next (LSE: NXT) was the heaviest faller among the blue chips with a 3% decline. Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) lost 2.5%.etailer Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS) lost 2.5%.Tour company Thomas Cook (LSE: TCG) and fashion house Burberry (LSE: BRBY) shed nearly 2%.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.2%, the broader S&P 500 index was down 0.1% and the technology heavy NASDAQ composite was just below the opening level.
Asian markets were mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1%, South Korea’s KOSPI rose marginally and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was flat, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.7% and Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slid 0.5%.
Oil prices were roughly at the same levels as yesterday. April Brent Crude stood at US$78.55/barrel, while US light, sweet crude held steady at US$80.25/barrel.
Precious metals advanced after falling late in the day on Monday. Gold reached US$1,116/oz, while silver and platinum improved to US$16.33/oz and US$1,539/oz.
Base metals were mixed as while copper was unchanged at US$3.30/lb, nickel fell to US$9.20/lb and zinc improved to US$1.02/lb.
The economic data that is due out today includes the Case-Schiller home price index and US consumer confidence update.
Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company