London pre-open: Stocks seen flat ahead of manufacturing data

by | Aug 1, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks were set for a flat open on Tuesday as investors eyed the latest reading on the UK manufacturing sector.
The FTSE 100 was called to open just three points higher at 7,702.

The S&P Global/CIPS manufacturing PMI for July is at 0930 BST.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “Today’s economic agenda shifts the focus back to the weakness of the manufacturing sector, as well as the resilience of the US labour market, as we look to a flat open.

“In Germany especially, the performance of the manufacturing sector has been dire with July manufacturing PMI expected to be confirmed at 38.8, the lowest level since the manufacturing sector was shut down due to Covid. In France, manufacturing PMI is expected to slow to 44.5, while only modest improvements are expected in Spain and Italy of 48.3 and 44.3.

“The UK manufacturing numbers are expected to slow to 45, from 46.5.”

In corporate news, BP reported a sharp 78% drop in its second quarter attributable profits to $1.79bn. Capital expenditures also declined, by $4.3bn after a $3.3bn decline over the previous three months. On a replacement cost basis, the oil major’s profit fell 73% to $2.34bn. Earnings per share on that same basis meanwhile reduced from $27.74 to $14.77. Its net debt on the other hand rose by 11.4% to $23.66bn.

Fresnillo reported a 6.1% increase in adjusted first half revenues to $1.43bn on the back of higher gold and silver volumes and prices. Also on an adjusted basis however, production costs jumped by 17.4% to $773.9m in comparison to a year earlier, as a result of the appreciation in the Mexican peso.

Hence, its profit before tax dropped 69.2% to $47.9m and basic diluted earnings per share from continuing operations by 44.7% to 8.8 US cents. Free cash flow reduced sharply, falling from $93.5m in the year earlier period to $18.7m. The miner declared an interim dividend of 1.40 US cents.

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