London pre-open: Stocks seen flat ahead of non-farm payrolls

Fri 01 Sep 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a flat open on Friday ahead of the release of the eagerly-awaited non-farm payrolls report later in the day.
The FTSE 100 was expected to open unchanged at 7,430.

On the data front, Markit's UK manufacturing purchasing managers' index is at 0930 BST. In the US, the payrolls report, unemployment rate and average hourly earnings are at 1330 BST.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "A decent payrolls number today would be the icing on the cake in a week that has seen some positive signs that the US economy may be in better shape that was previously thought prior to Jackson Hole.

"Today's US employment report is expected to see 180k jobs added in August, down from July's 209k, however this week's bumper ADP report has seen some estimates for today revised higher. It is also notable that the June and July non-farm payroll reports both surprised to the upside on estimates of 180k, with numbers in excess of 200k, so it wouldn't be unexpected to see the August report also post a number north of 200k given how strong this week's ADP number was."

In corporate news, digital property and household-related services owner ZPG has acquired Ravensworth, the "UK's leading provider" of on-demand print and creative marketing services to estate and letting agents, for an undisclosed sum.

The FTSE 250 firm, which owns Zoopla, said Ravensworth - based in Cramlington, Northumberland - specialises in providing integrated print ordering solutions to over 4,500 UK estate and letting agent branches via its print technology platform.

Rio Tinto confirmed the completion of the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Coal & Allied Industries Limited to Yancoal Australia.

The FTSE 100 company said that from Friday, Yancoal was taking over management of Rio Tinto's thermal coal business in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales.

It said it would receive total consideration of $2.69bn for the sale, together with customary adjustments for net debt and net working capital at completion.
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