London pre-open: Stocks to edge higher ahead of jobs data

Tue 13 Aug 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to edge higher at the open on Tuesday as investors eyed the latest batch of key UK jobs data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 10 points higher at 7,236.

On the macroeconomic front, average earnings, the ILO unemployment rate and the claimant count are all due at 0930 BST.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Today we'll get to see how the jobs market is holding up as well as get an insight into the pressure on wages which has continued to push up to multi year highs in recent months. The resilience of the labour market has been quite startling given all the reports we've seen in the media over the last 12-18 months of widespread job losses across a range of sectors, the unemployment rate has remained anchored near its lowest levels since the 1970s at 3.8%.

"In the aftermath of the Brexit extension in March the UK economy has slowed down markedly, but thus far this doesn't appear to be being reflected in terms of the pace of wage increases. These have continued to pick up despite a weak economic backdrop. In May, wages excluding bonuses rose by 3.6%, an eleven-year high, and have been rising steadily for the last two years, and this looks set be extended into June, with a rise to 3.8% expected."

In corporate news, Card Factory reported a 5.5% rise in sales for the six months to July 31 as it reiterated guidance for the full year, adding that costs had risen as it stockpiled ahead of Brexit.

Like-for-like sales rose 1.5% against a "challenging" consumer environment, the company said on Tuesday, although sales at its Getting Personal fell 10.5%, impacted by continued intense price competition and high costs of customer acquisition.

Polypipe posted a rise in first-half pre-tax tax profit and revenue as it benefited from recent acquisitions.

In the six months to the end of June, the provider of sustainable water and climate management solutions made a pre-tax profit of 31.4m, up 4.3% on the first half of last year, while revenue grew 6.2% to 223.3m.
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