London pre-open: Stocks seen touch lower on downbeat US cues

by | Sep 8, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks were set to edge down at the open on Friday following a mostly downbeat session on Wall Street.
The FTSE 100 was called to open seven points lower at 7,434.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “Yesterday was another mixed bag for European markets, with the DAX closing lower for the fifth day in a row, while still closing well off the lows of the day in another choppy session. The FTSE 100, on the other hand, managed to break a 3-day losing streak, helped by a slightly weaker pound.

“US markets had a slightly more negative tone to them with the Nasdaq 100 closing lower for the 4th day in a row, with weakness in the Apple share price acting as the main lag on the index, while weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest levels since February.

“The overall mood amongst investors does appear to be becoming gloomier, however despite recent price moves we’re still within the price ranges we’ve been in over the past 6 months. With some key central bank meetings looming in the next two weeks we might find the catalyst that breaks us out of these choppy ranges.”

In corporate news, housebuilder Berkeley reaffirmed full-year earnings guidance but said private sales reservations were down 35% due to rising interest rates and political volatility.

In a trading statement ahead of its annual general meeting, the group said it expected to deliver pre-tax profits of at least £1.05bn across the current and next financial years; likely to be weighted slightly to full-year 2024.

Berkeley said it had more than 90% of full-year 2024 revenue exchanged and anticipated cash due on forward sales to be around £2bn at October 31, 2023 compared with £2.14bn at the end of April.

It also revealed it had not acquired any land in the period and would only invest “very selectively” in new opportunities due to what it called the “complexity and protracted nature of the current planning system and lack of clarity surrounding certain regulatory changes”.

Elsewhere, The Restaurant Group announced that its chairman Ken Hanna is stepping down next year “due to personal reasons”.

The company, which owns 380 restaurants and pubs across the UK including Wagamama and Brunning & Price, said Hanna has decided not to seek re-election at its next AGM in 2024, but will stick around until a successor is appointed.

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