London pre-open: Stocks to edge up as Trump OKs China tariffs

Fri 15 Jun 2018

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to edge up at the open on Friday as investors digest the latest developments between the US and China.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 10 points higher at 7,775 amid reports that US President Trump has approved $50bn worth of tariffs on the import of goods from China.

The approval followed a 90-minute meeting on Thursday of Senior White House officials, national security officials and senior representatives of the Treasury, Commerce Department, and US Trade Representative's Office.

A formal announcement is expected to be made later in the day by the US Trade Representatives, with a notification in the Federal Register in the coming week.

London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler said: "The markets are relatively sanguine moving towards the announcement, suggesting that traders still do not believe that this will turn into a serious trade war or, alternatively, have had the story come around so many times over the past few weeks that they have simply moved on."

In corporate news, Tesco saw UK and Irish sales slow in the first quarter of its new financial year but with wholesale acquisition Booker bedding down, group-wide growth accelerated.

For the 13 weeks ended 26 May, UK like-for-like sales grew 2.1% and Ireland 3%, while Booker added 14.3%. Central European operations were said to have delivered a strong underlying performance but LFLs sales were slightly negative due to new Sunday trading laws in Poland and Slovakia.

FTSE 250 building materials group CRH said that it has received regulatory approval for its $3.5bn acquisition of Kansas-based cement manufacturer Ash Grove.

The deal, which was announced in September 2017, has been approved by the US Federal Trade Commission and there are no further regulatory approvals outstanding.

The transaction is expected to close in June 2018.

Specialist information company Ascential has announced the acquisition of global digital subscription business WARC for up to 24m.

The price comprises an initial cash consideration of 19.5m and deferred consideration of 4.5m payable in 2019.

Ascential said the business strengthens its digital product offering in the marketing discipline to span both "creative excellence and marketing effectiveness". It plans to combine WARC with Cannes Lions' The Work, to form a digital subscription product of scale.
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