What happened: Futures tied to the FTSE index are rising ahead of the budget reading. The highly-anticipated event will provide an outline for the government’s priorities going forward. This could include some tax cuts for small and medium-sized companies, especially those in the services industry. Also, it could include some rate hikes to fund the large government programs.
The index is also rising after a pause of the performance of UK Gilts. After rising to the highest level in almost a year last week, Gilts have eased this week.
FTSE 100 companies to watch: The budget reading will have a direct impact on several companies in the FTSE index. For example, homebuilders like Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, and Barratt Development will react to the provisions of more housing support. These companies have benefited substantially from government’s stimulus that has made homeownership cheaper.
In line with this, Lloyds, Barclays, and NatWest will also be affected. More stimulus will mean more mortgage business for these companies. Other FTSE companies that will be affected today are Weatherspoon and Mitchells & Butlers. Also, some companies like Imperial Brands and British American Tobacco will possibly see a tax increase.
FTSE 100 technical outlook
The FTSE 100 index has been on an uptrend recently. It has risen by more than 3% since February 26. Also, it has moved above the short and longer-term moving averages. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) has also continued to rise. Therefore, the path of least resistance for the index is higher. If this happens, the next key levels to watch are 6,705 and 6,800.
FTSE index chart