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London pre-open: Stocks seen up despite weak Wall St session

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 20 Jan 2022

London pre-open: Stocks seen up despite weak Wall St session

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to gain at the open on Thursday despite a weak finish on Wall Street.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 29 points higher at 7,618.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "US markets despite trying to rebound were unable to hold onto their gains, sliding lower despite US treasury yields coming off their highs of the day to finish lower on the day, unlike German and UK yields which managed to hold up close to their multi year highs.

"Markets in Asia also shrugged off the negative finish in the US after China cut another two key lending rates to help support the wider economy, which in turn has seen both the Hang Seng and Nikkei rebound strongly after yesterday's weak performance. This rebound looks set to percolate into a positive open for markets in Europe."

In corporate news, Associated British Foods said fourth-quarter sales at its Primark stores had been hit by the surge in Covid Omicron cases, but were now showing signs of recovery as it maintained full-year guidance.

Retail sales were 36% ahead of last year at £2.6bn on a constant currency basis with operating profit margin ahead of expectations.

"Looking ahead, we expect Primark sales from now to April to be significantly better than sales in the comparable period in the last financial year, when the estate was largely closed," the company said in a statement.

Test and assurance solutions provider Spirent Communications said it closed 2021 with a "strong performance" in the final quarter, with several important wins across all parts of its portfolio.

Spirent Communications stated strong order intake growth continued through to the end of the year, resulting in full-year revenues growing 10% to $576.0m and the group now guiding for adjusted operating profits to be slightly ahead of market consensus.


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