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London pre-open: Stocks to rise as investors eye this week's Fed policy announcement

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Monday 17 Jun 2019

London pre-open: Stocks to rise as investors eye this week's Fed policy announcement

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Monday as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's latest policy announcement mid-week.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 20 points higher at 7,366.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "While the Federal Reserve rate meeting is probably the main event this week, at least as far as central banks are concerned, we also have the latest meetings from the Bank of Japan, as well as the Bank of England.

"No changes are expected from either of the meetings, though as far as the Bank of England are concerned it will be interesting to see if other MPC members echo recent comments from chief economist Andrew Haldane, as well as external member of the MPC Michael Saunders warning about the prospect for higher rates."

Hewson said investors are growing increasingly convinced that Fed will cut interest rates up to three times this year, "though judging by the rally in the US dollar in the last few days foreign exchange markets have a different view".

"This dovish bond market view seems hard to square with what is happening on the data front, after some strong US retail sales data from April and May showed that the US consumer had started to spend again," he added.

In UK corporate news, Babcock confirmed it had rejected in January a "highly preliminary" takeover approach from outsourcer rival Serco - a combination that would create a £4bn defence giant.

"The board of Babcock...rejected it, having concluded that a combination of the two companies had no strategic merit and was not in the best interests of Babcock's shareholders, customers or wider stakeholders," Babcock said in a statement.

AstraZeneca announced detailed results from the interim analysis of the phase 3 'ASCEND' trial, showing 'Calquence' (acalabrutinib) significantly prolonged the time patients lived without disease progression in relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

The pharmaceuticals giant said that at a median follow-up of 16.1 months, results showed a "statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful" improvement in progression-free survival for patients treated with Calquence compared to idelalisib or bendamustine, reducing the risk of disease progression or death by 69%.

Tritax Big Box REIT has entered into a new £200m unsecured revolving credit facility with a syndicate of its relationship lenders.

The company said the new facility had an initial maturity of five years, and could be extended by two further years to a maximum maturity of seven years. It also contained an uncommitted £100m accordion option, and would support the firm's future investment and development activities, with an opening margin of 1.1% per annum over LIBOR.


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