London pre-open: Subdued start expected on quiet day for earnings, data

by | Aug 14, 2023

(Sharecast News) – The UK stock market was set for a subdued start on Monday morning, with investors likely to show caution on a light day for economic data and corporate earnings.
Futures on the FTSE 100 were pointing to a 0.1% fall to 7,513, after a 1.2% drop in the benchmark index on Friday.

Sentiment is likely to be dampened by heavy losses on Asian equity indices overnight, as the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.3%, while the Hang Seng Index tumbled 2%.

No major economic data is scheduled for release on Monday. UK unemployment and inflation figures are due on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Last week saw a barrage of major economic indicators from the US and China, which only served to cloud the outlook for the world’s two largest economies.

Back on home shores, figures on Friday showed that UK GDP growth unexpectedly picked up from 0.1% to 0.2% in the second quarter, with annual growth rising from 0.2% to 0.4%, raising concerns that the Bank of England’s current interest-rate raising cycle may continue as it acts to prevent an overheating economy.

In company news, contract-for-difference platform Plus500 on Monday reported a 43% in half-year profits and said it was starting a $60m share buyback. Interim core profit rose came in at $174m compared with $305.3m a year earlier. Group revenue fell 28% to $368.5m. Customer income, a key measure of the group’s underlying performance, was up 2% to $304.3m.

Shaftesbury Capital announced a new 10-year loan of £200m from Aviva Investors, using a portfolio of assets within the Carnaby estate as collateral. The FTSE 100 firm said the loan proceeds would partly repay a £576m unsecured loan drawn in April, extending its weighted average maturity of debt to five years and reducing the weighted average cost of debt to 4.2%, ultimately reaching an effective cash cost of 3.3%.

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