London pre-open: Stocks seen weaker on North Korea woes

Tue 29 Aug 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a negative open on Tuesday, tracking weakness in Asian markets after North Korea launched a missile over Japan.
The FTSE 100 was expected to open 42 points lower at 7,359.

CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: "Tensions have been running high for a number of weeks now in relation to North Korea, and this move has sent traders running for cover. The situation surrounding North Korea has become more serious now, and we are seeing a risk-off strategy being adopted by traders.

"There was a knee-jerk reaction to the missile being launched, but after a while traders nerves settled, and we saw a bounce back in equity markets - which are off the lows of the session."

Investors will also be digesting the latest survey from Nationwide, which showed that house price growth in the UK slowed to 2.1% in August from 2.9% in July, while month-on-month, prices fell 0.1% compared with a 0.2% increase the month before and expectations of a 0.1% gain.

In corporate news, distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl said the weak pound helped power interim pre-tax profits to 181.9m, a rise of 17%.

With more than 85% of the group's revenue generated outside the UK, the weakening of sterling against most currencies increased revenue, profits and earnings by approximately 12%, Bunzl said.

Bunzl also unveiled a new acquisition in China, with the purchase of HSESF and its associated companies, which are principally engaged in the sale of a variety of personal protection equipment.

The City watchdog has begun to probe the timing and preparation of a profit warning last September by Mitie Group, which is already being investigated by another regulator over its accounts.

Mitie revealed on Monday that the Financial Conduct Authority had on Friday told the facilities management outsourcing group that an investigation "in connection with the timeliness" of the profit warning that was announced by the company on 19 September 2016.

AstraZeneca announced that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Faslodex (fulvestrant) 500mg as monotherapy for expanded use in women with hormone-receptor positive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative advanced breast cancer, who have gone through menopause and have not received previous endocrine therapy.

The FTSE 100 drugmaker said the FDA approval was based on data from the Phase III FALCON trial, as published in the November 2016 issue of The Lancet.
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