London pre-open: Stocks to fall as EU-US trade relations in focus

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 23 Jan 2020

London pre-open: Stocks to fall as EU-US trade relations in focus

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to fall at the open on Thursday, with trade relations between the US and the EU in focus as investors eyed the latest policy announcement from the European Central Bank.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 16 points lower at 7,555.

CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: "European equity markets lost a little ground yesterday on concerns that trade tensions between the EU and the US could tick up. President Trump claimed the EU has 'no choice' but to negotiate a new trade deal with the US.

"It is no secret that Mr Trump is putting America first, so he could give Brussels the same treatment he dished out to China in a bid to rebalance the trading relationship. Also, a trade spat with the EU could score him political points, which would come in handy seeing as he is up for re-election in November."

Madden added: "Concerns about the coronavirus influenced markets too. Parallels have been drawn with the SARS crisis in 2003, but Beijing's handing of the situation seems to be more open this time, so the fear factor isn't too bad. Should the situation get worse, stocks in the tourist trade could suffer."

Investors will eye the European Central Bank interest rate decision at 1245 GMT, followed by the press conference at 1330 GMT.

On the UK corporate front, Anglo American said fourth quarter production across all operations rose 4% driven by a ramp-up of operations at its Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil.

The company added that increased production of metallurgical coal in Australia was offset by the drought in Chile impacting water availability at the Los Bronces copper mine, as well as anticipated lower diamond production from De Beers.

Student accommodation owner, manager and developer, the Unite Group, has received resolution to grant planning permission for its 416-bed student accommodation development in Bristol city centre, including the conversion of the former Georgian hospital into 62 rented residential homes.

The FTSE 250 company said the site occupies a prime location in Bristol city centre, and would provide student accommodation when delivered for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.

Unite said it was in "advanced discussions" with the University of Bristol for a long-term nomination agreement on the scheme.


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