London pre-open: Stocks seen higher amid US-China trade hopes

Mon 25 Nov 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were set for a firmer open on Monday, taking their cue from a positive session in Asia amid renewed hopes over a China-US trade deal.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 24 points higher at 7,350.

Sentiment in Asian trading was boosted after China said it will raise penalties on intellectual property violations.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "While there is growing scepticism that the US and China will be able to agree anything tangible before year end in terms of a phase one deal, there is some evidence of progress on the rather thorny question of intellectual property, which has been a significant US red line.

"The US wants China to crack down harder on the theft of IP and stop forcing US companies to hand over commercial secrets in return for doing business in the country.

"In an apparent olive branch, China has said it will lower the thresholds for criminal punishment when it comes to the theft of IP, as well as increasing the penalties on companies who steal IP. While this is unlikely to make it into any phase one deal, this does appear to hold open the prospect, of further progress if, and after a phase one deal is eventually agreed."

He added that the elections in Hong Kong "have sent a clear signal to China that the people are hugely dissatisfied with the government of Carrie Lam".

On home turf, sterling was holding up well following the release of the Conservative manifesto over the weekend.

"In contrast to the launch of the Labour Party manifesto, which came across as a pick and mix wish list of giveaways, with another 58bn being pledged at the weekend on pensions, the Conservative party's offering came across as a much more safety-first affair," said Hewson.

On the data front, the CBI distributive trades survey for November is at 1100 GMT.

In corporate news, real estate trust NewRiver said it had bought the Sprucefield retail park in Northern Ireland from Intu Properties for 40m representing a net initial yield of 8.7%.

Once completed, the acquisition will generate an additional 3.7m of annualised net property income, the company said.

Healthcare facility investor Primary Health Properties has contracted with a developer to fund the development and acquisition of a purpose-built primary care centre in Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales.

The company said a wholly-owned subsidiary had contracted to provide development funding for the construction of the property for a total cost of 4.92m, which it would wholly own on completion.

It said the acquisition would increase its portfolio to a total of 485 assets with a gross value of just under 2.4bn, and a contracted rent roll of just under 127m.

Sirius Real Estate recorded 2% growth in interim profit before tax to €79.7m as revenue increased by 7% to €72.2m, due to organic increases in rent roll, service charge improvements and the contribution of new acquisitions.

The business park operator hiked its half-year dividend by 9% to 1.77 cents per share, while also noting that occupier demand remains strong despite political uncertainty and economic headwinds.
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01 Apr London pre-open: Stocks to slide again after downbeat US, Asian sessions
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