London pre-open: Stocks seen lower as Trump targets Huawei

Thu 16 May 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to drop at the open on Thursday as investors digest news that US President Trump has declared a national emergency to protect US computer networks from "foreign adversaries" - a move widely seen as targeting China's Huawei.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 31 points lower at 7,265.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said this paves the way for a ban on China's biggest telecoms provider.

"This executive order appears to have curbed some of the exuberance of the late rebound in stocks yesterday with Asia markets reacting much more cautiously," he said.

"While the suspension of auto tariffs is welcome it certainly doesn't mean that President Trump can't create ripples in other ways, and this is reflected in the more mixed reaction amongst Asia markets. This in turn is expected to translate into a lower European open later this morning."

In UK corporate news, Lloyds Bank said it would start to pay quarterly dividends to its 2.4m shareholders from June 2020.

Britain's largest retail bank said it would pay three equal interim ordinary dividend payments for the first three quarters of the year followed by, subject to performance, a larger final dividend for the final three months.

Burberry's underlying profit was unchanged last year as cost cuts offset a decline in revenue at the luxury clothing brand.

Adjusted operating profit for the year to the end of March fell 6% to 438m but excluding currency movements profit was flat. Revenue at constant exchange rates fell 1% to 2.72bn and operating costs fell 1% to 1.42bn.

Countryside Properties posted a rise in half-year profit as completions and revenue rose and the home builder said it was on track to deliver volume and margin expectations for the full year.

In the six months to 31 March, adjusted operating profit was up 11% at 89.4m, while completions increased 43% to 2,362 and adjusted revenue jumped 20% to 563.7m.
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