London pre-open: Stocks seen higher on positive US cues

Fri 19 May 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a firmer open on Friday following a positive session on Wall Street, where shares rebounded from this week's Trump-inspired selloff.
The FTSE 100 was expected to open 33 points higher at 7,469.

On the data front, the CBI Industrial trends survey is at 1100 BST, with consensus for an unchanged reading of 4 for May.

CMC Markets analyst David Madden said:"The impressive UK retail sales report yesterday, coupled with the decline in unemployment and a jump in inflation during the week paints a rosy picture of the British economy. The positive run of economic indicators from the UK would have been welcomed by some members of the monetary policy committee (MPC) more than others."

In corporate news, pharma group Hikma has updated its guidance on full year revenue to be $2bn - $2.1bn in constant currency after last week's rejection of its asthma drug by US regulators.

This change reflects changes in the outlook for Hikma's generics business, where it has revised expectations for the launch timing of its generic version of Advair Diskus and where it is experiencing increased price erosion on marketed products.

Entertainment One announced the start of production on a new series of Peppa Pig on Friday.

The FTSE 250 company said the show's award-winning animation studio, Astley Baker Davies, would be producing the new series which will bring the total number of Peppa Pig episodes to 381.

It said the 117 new episodes are scheduled to launch on air globally from Spring 2019 and secure a pipeline of Peppa Pig content over the following four years.

Private landlord group Grainger hiked its interim dividend 10% after a first half where it secured half of its investment target and cut costs in a market where the proportion of privately rented homes is at its highest levels since records began in 1980.

Net rental income of 20.0m was generated in the six months ended 31 March 2017, up 11% on the same period last year, with profit before tax up 13% to 41.2m. The dividend was hiked 10% to 1.60p per share.
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