London pre-open: Flat start expected as nerves set in

by | Sep 19, 2023

(Sharecast News) – UK stocks are expected to open flat on Tuesday as investors continue to act cautiously ahead of some pivotal central bank meetings later this week.
Futures on IG’s platform show just a 0.03% fall on the FTSE 100 in pre-market trading.

The index retreated from a four-month high on Monday on the back of rising oil prices and nervousness ahead of the Federal Reserve and Bank of England policy meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, while the BoE is set to hike rates by another 25 basis points to 5.5%.

Brent crude was up a further 0.5% on Tuesday at $94.90 a barrel as it continues to flirt with its yearly high of $99.56.

The economic data agenda for Tuesday looked relatively light, with consumer price inflation data from the Eurozone, and US housing starts and building permits the only major things to watch out for.

In company news, online grocer and technology company Ocado maintained annual guidance after a 7.2% rise in third-quarter retail revenues. The company, 50% owned by Marks & Spencer, said retail sales came in at £569.6m from £531m a year earlier, with a return to positive volume growth in the last month of the quarter.

Pharmaceutical giant GSK announced that its Apretude drug for HIV prevention has received approval from the European Commission. ViiV Healthcare, a specialist HIV company co-owned by GSK, Pfizer and Shionogi (GSK is the majority shareholder), showed in a clinical trial that Apretude demonstrated “superior efficacy” to the standard daily oral PrEP option in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV, and only needs to be taken as few as six times a year.

Hargreaves Lansdown reported a net new business gain of £4.8bn and an 8% increase in assets under administration to £134bn in its results for the year ended 30 June. The savings and investment company reported a rise of 67,000 active clients, bringing the total to 1,804,000. Furthermore, profit before tax surged by 50% to £402.7m, with the ordinary dividend increasing by 4.5% to 41.5p per share.

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