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CATEGORY: MARKET REPORT - PRE-OPEN

London pre-open: Stocks seen higher as investors eye BoE announcement

Thu 21 Jun 2018

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to gain at the open on Thursday as investors eyed the latest policy announcement form the Bank of England.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 37 points higher at 7,664.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "The pound got a lift yesterday after the UK government avoided a defeat in Parliament on a key Brexit vote, and will remain in the spotlight today with the latest instalment in the will they, won't they, saga from the Bank of England in to when the MPC will finally throw off the shackles of indecision and policy paralysis and finally deliver on an often broken pledge to raise interest rates away from where they have been for nearly all of the last 9 years.

"Having passed up the opportunity a few weeks ago to raise interest rates in May its highly unlikely that the Bank of England will do so today despite the fact that the data we've seen since that May meeting has been a significant improvement on the data that we saw in Q1.

"It wasn't too much of a surprise to see the central bank back pedal on market expectations in May as Governor Mark Carney had indicated as much a few weeks before at the IMF meetings in Washington a few weeks before, despite hinting heavily in February that rates could well be moved higher in the coming months."

Public sector net borrowing is at 0930 BST, while the BoE rate announcement is at 1200 BST.

In corporate news, Saga traded in line with expectations in the first four months of its financial year as the over-50s travel and insurance company wrote more motor and home insurance policies.

In the four months to 31 May new motor insurance policies increased 30% and home policies rose 14%. Saga said the home and motor markets were competitive but it was writing business on attractive terms.

Dixons Carphone's final results filled in the gaps after announcing the key points of a disappointing year in a recent profit warning.

For the 12 months to 28 April, revenue increased of 10.5bn was up 3% on the previous year, with like-for-like sales up 4%, but profit before tax falling 24% to 382m. Earnings per share fell 22% to 26.2p and the dividend was held flat at 11.25p.

Listed infrastructure investment company HICL Infrastructure Company announced that Diamond Transmission Partners, a consortium comprising the firm and Diamond Transmission Corporation - a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation - has been selected by Ofgem as the preferred bidder to own and operate the offshore transmission link to the Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm project.

The company said the offshore transmission owner regime covered regulated assets where the OFTO took ownership of an operational transmission asset, and received contractual, availability-based revenues over a 20-year period. It said consideration for HICL's 50% share of the interest in Race Bank OFTO was expected to be up to 30m.
 
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