London pre-open: Stocks seen higher, tracking gains in the US and Asia

Wed 30 Aug 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a positive open on Wednesday, tracking upbeat sessions in the US and Asia as investors shrugged off concerns about North Korea.
The FTSE 100 was expected to open 26 points higher at 7,363.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "It is true that flare ups on the Korean peninsula are nothing new and previous instances have always resulted in a winding back of tension, and it would appear that US investors have decided that recent events are likely to go the same way, as the markets "muscle memory" of selling the panic and then buying the dip kicked in.

"In ordinary circumstances this might seem sensible, however the events of the last few weeks can hardly be described as ordinary, which suggests that markets could be being rather nave that current events can be contained."

On the data front, net lending to individuals, consumer credit, mortgage approvals and money supply are due at 0830 BST.

Hewson said: "We'll get to see the latest lending data for the UK economy for July, against a backdrop of an overextended consumer. We have seen some anecdotal evidence of a bit of a slowdown in spending patterns, however it's not been particularly evident in recent data with net lending still expected to be near its highest levels this year, above 5bn.

"Mortgage approvals are also expected to come in at 66k, despite July being a historically slow month in the UK housing market."

In corporate news, international specialised technical products group Diploma said it had continued to trade well in the second half of the year and remained on track to post full year results in line with expectations.

Full year reported group revenues are expected to increase by around 17% including a 9% lift from the collapse in the pound and 2% from acquisitions. On an underlying basis, after adjusting for the impact of acquisitions and currency effects, group revenues for the year are expected to increase by 6%, Diploma said in a trading statement.

WH Smith said results for the year to the end of August should hit target and that it continues to see further opportunities for international growth in via the airport market.

The Travel division, which operates outlets in train stations and airports, delivered a strong performance for the year and saw the first three Italian stores opened in Rome's Fiumicino and Ciampino airports, and one in Turin.

UK and continental Europe-focussed industrial property investor Hansteen Holdings announced the sale of Carvers Trading Estate in Ringwood, north east of Bournemouth for 7.06m, reflecting a net initial yield of 4.93% and a capital value per square foot of 137.

The company said the multi-let property comprises 51,346 square feet, benefitting from a "prominent location" in the centre of Ringwood and let to a variety of tenants including Topps Tiles, Screwfix, ATS Euromaster and Howdens.
Carvers Trading Estate was sold to a client of CBRE Global Investors.
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