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London pre-open: Stocks seen muted ahead of jobs data

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 17 Jul 2018

London pre-open: Stocks seen muted ahead of jobs data

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set for a muted open on Tuesday, steadying after the previous session's losses as investors eye a slew of key jobs data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open three points higher at 7,603 following a mixed session on Wall Street, where earnings and President Trump's meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin were in focus.

London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler said: "Brexit woes continue to keep the pound range bound, with too many uncertainties still unresolved regarding Brexit; deal or no deal and even over whether Theresa May will be able to cling onto power through the week. However, the UK economic calendar provides at least some distraction from Brexit concerns, this week, although it may not all be good news.

"The immediate concern for the BoE will be wage growth, particularly given that inflation also continued to decline. These figures are hardly likely to encourage the BoE to vote to tighten monetary policy when it meets in two weeks' time. With rate hike expectations siting at around 70%, this probability could find it is under pressure and pull sterling towards $1.31, should wages surprise to the downside.

"On the other hand, should the data reinforce the central bank's theory that the slowdown in the economy was just in the first quarter and that activity is picking up again in the second quarter, the pound could look to target the 50-day moving average at $1.3320."

On the data front, average earnings, the claimant count and the ILO unemployment rate are all due at 0930 BST. Before that at 0900 BST, Bank of England governor Mark Carney is due to make a speech at the Farnborough International Airshow.

In corporate news, Royal Mail said it was monitoring the impact of new data regulations on customers as letter volumes declined faster but the postal operator said trading was in line with its expectations.

UK parcels, international and letters (UKPIL) revenue fell 1% in the three months to 24 June. Parcel revenue rose 6% and total letter revenue dropped 7%.

Housebuilding, regeneration and construction company Galliford Try updated the market on its trading for the year ended 30 June, saying it expected to report "strong" pre-exceptional full year results, in line with previous guidance, and net cash at 30 June of £97m, with average net debt for the year below previous guidance at £227m.

The FTSE 250 firm said its outlook for the current financial year remained in line with management's expectations.

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