London pre-open: Stocks seen higher after record highs in US

Wed 27 Nov 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to gain at the open on Wednesday after markets in the US closed at new all-time highs overnight.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 10 points higher at 7,413.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Optimism around trade discussions has once again helped to underpin sentiment after reports that China's negotiator Liu He and US trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer had reached a consensus on how to resolve a number of core issues, while keeping lines of communication open with a view to resolving other remaining issues.

"It still remains unclear what the timing is likely to be on the agreement of a phase one deal, however with three weeks until December 15th, it's not hard to imagine that it is highly unlikely that we'll get anything tangible before that. This is the date when the next round of tariffs is scheduled to kick in and would suggest that President Trump will want to keep that option open until the very last moment."

On the UK corporate front, British American Tobacco said it expected full year adjusted operating profit and revenue growth to be in the upper half of its long-term guidance range driven by strong results in the US.

The company added that annual new category constant currency revenue growth would be at the lower end of its 30% - 50% range, reflecting the recent slowdown in the US vapour market.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals has submitted its response to deficiencies in its abbreviated new drug application for a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's 'Advair Diskus', or fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder, to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FTSE 100 firm said that, following receipt of a complete response letter from the FDA, it initiated a clinical endpoint study in 2018.

That study had been completed and it, along with other information requested by the FDA, was submitted to the FDA for review, addressing the outstanding questions raised by the FDA in its letter.

Britvic booked a 24% reduction in annual profit before tax to 110.3m as higher administration expenses and cost of sales outweighed the impact of a 3% increase in revenue to 1.55bn.

The soft drinks producer warned that conditions will remain challenging but said it remained confident of making further progress in 2020 due to its geographical presence, strong portfolio of brands and team of committed and passionate employees.
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