London pre-open: Stocks seen lower after Trump signs Hong Kong bill

Thu 28 Nov 2019

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to fall at the open on Thursday amid renewed concerns over relations between the US and China, with a firmer pound also likely to weigh.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 35 points lower at 7,394.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "The optimism of the last few days has been thrown up in the air in Asia markets, after President Trump signed the bill supporting the Hong Kong protestors last night. This action sent equity markets sharply lower on concerns that China may well retaliate.

"China has consistently said on a number of occasions that they would retaliate if the US interfered in the matters of Hong Kong, which they consider to be an internal matter. Chinese authorities' initial response was to accuse the US of 'sinister intentions' pledging to defend Hong Kong's sovereignty and stability. The Hong Kong government also expressed its objections to the unnecessary interference in Hong Kong's affairs.

"As a result of this latest development, which wasn't entirely unexpected, markets in Europe look set to open lower this morning."

On home shores, the pound was trading up against the dollar and the euro after the MRP YouGov poll released late on Wednesday - the same poll that predicted the outcome of the 2017 election - suggested that the Conservatives were on track for a 68-seat majority.

In corporate news, UK residential landlord Grainger said it had agreed to forward fund a 132-home private development in London's Canning Town for 55.5m.

The scheme, which also includes 11,000 square feet of commercial space, will be developed by Linkcity, with Bouygues UK the building contractor. This is the fifth scheme Linkcity and Bouygues UK will deliver for Grainger, the company said on Thursday.

Marine services company James Fisher said it expected full year profits to be "modestly below" expectations but ahead of last year's 56.1m.

The engineering company said trends seen in the first half in its offshore oil and tankships divisions had continued in the nine months to September 30, with trading well ahead of the prior year comparative.

"This performance reflected improved market conditions in the oil & gas sector and the commencement of a new contract to support the Royal Navy's refueling requirements in tankships," Fisher said in a trading update.

Ocado Group announced the location of a sixth customer fulfilment centre in the UK on Thursday, to support the growth plans of its retail division.

The FTSE 100 grocery retailer and fulfilment technology company said it would be Ocado Retail's first 'mini' fulfilment centre, and would be located in Bristol.

It said the facility would have the capacity for more than 30,000 orders per week, compared to the 85,000 orders per week expected from its fifth fulfilment centre, currently under construction at Purfleet.

Ocado said that, despite its smaller size, it expected the Bristol centre to achieve productivity close to that in its standard facilities.
Archived Stories

01 Apr London pre-open: Stocks to slide again after downbeat US, Asian sessions
31 Mar London pre-open: Stocks to edge lower; China manufacturing data encouraging
30 Mar London pre-open: Stocks seen muted despite downbeat Asian session
27 Mar London pre-open: Stocks seen lower as caution sets in ahead of weekend
26 Mar London pre-open: Stocks seen lower ahead of jobless claims, BoE