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London pre-open: Stocks to rise ahead of key jobs data

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 16 Apr 2019

London pre-open: Stocks to rise ahead of key jobs data

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise on Tuesday, tracking gains in Asia as investors eyed the release of key UK jobs data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 17 points higher at 7,453, while the pound was down 0.1% against the dollar at 1.3091 ahead of the ILO unemployment rate, claimant count and average earnings at 0930 BST.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "For now, the unemployment rate is sitting at a multi-year low of 3.9%, while wage increases have doubled in less than 2 years from lows of 1.7% in the summer of 2017 to 3.4% now.

"Today's unemployment number for the three months to February is expected to remain steady at 3.9%, while wages excluding bonuses for the same period are expected to also come in, as in January, at 3.4%. How long this scenario can continue given events at Westminster is anyone's guess, but the clock is ticking ever louder."

The German ZEW and US industrial and manufacturing figures are also due to be released.

In corporate news, the impact of March's tropical cyclone in Western Australia has forced miner Rio Tinto to cut its guidance for annual ore shipments.

The company said first quarter iron ore sales of 69.1m tonnes were 14% lower year on year due to lower production and damage to the port facilities caused by cyclone Veronica.

Annual iron ore shipments guidance was cut to 333m - 343m tonnes from a previous range of 338m - 350m.

Recruitment company Hays reported "good" net fee growth of 6% in its third quarter, with underlying growth of 5% adjusted for the timing of Easter.

The FTSE 250 firm said that was led by 7% growth in its international businesses. It said it saw decent cash generation, with net cash standing at £30m as at 31 March, up from £5m year-on-year.

JD Sport Fashion reported a 49% increase in revenue to £4.7bn for the 52 weeks ended 2 February, with a 15.5% increase in profit before tax and exceptionals to £355.2m. Total like-for-like sales were up more than 6%.

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