London pre-open: Stocks seen lower amid North Korea concerns

Mon 04 Sep 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a downbeat open on Monday as worries about North Korea gathered pace after it tested a hydrogen bomb over the weekend.
The FTSE 100 was expected to open 12 points lower at 7,426.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "The weekend has once again been dominated by a provocation from North Korea after the country conducted yet another nuclear test, prompting the now habitual political condemnation from the US, South Korea and Japan, along with a pretty blunt statement from US defence secretary James Mattis that while the US is not looking to the total annihilation of North Korea it "has many options to do so."

On the data front, the construction purchasing managers' index is at 0930 BST.

Hewson said: "In the UK the manufacturing sector continues to go from strength to strength, at least as far as the PMI data is concerned after another strong performance in August built on the gains seen in the previous three months. Today's it's the turn of the construction sector, where the performance has been a little more lacklustre in recent months, nonetheless an improvement to 52.1 is expected from 51.9 in July."

In corporate news, investors in software product group Micro Focus International were set to be told of the completion of the merger with HPE Software as they mustered for the company's annual general meeting.

The FTSE 100 firm's chairman, Kevin Loosemore, was set to confirm to shareholders that the merger reached completion on Friday, with the listing of the new ordinary shares and consideration shares on the London Stock Exchange, the listing of the American depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange, and the appointment of Chris Hsu as chief executive officer of the enlarged group.

Low-cost airline Wizz Air reported a 24.4% jump in passenger numbers in August as the load factor ticked higher.

Passenger numbers rose to 2.9m from 2.3m in July, as the load factor - which gauges how full the planes are - rose to 95.4% from 93%.

On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger numbers were up 22.4% to 26.3m and the load factor increased to 91.1% from 88.5%.

Acacia Mining said it expects to return to positive cash generation early in 2018 after it stopped underground mining at one of its three Tanzanian mines.

As a result of the planned reduction in operating activity at the Bulyanhulu mine, the FTSE 250 company now expects annual production to be around 100,000 ounces lower than the bottom of the previous guidance range of 850,000-900,000 ounces.
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