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London pre-open: Stocks to rise as investors mull jobs data

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 17 May 2022

London pre-open: Stocks to rise as investors mull jobs data

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Tuesday following a positive Asian session, as investors mull the latest UK jobs data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 14 points higher at 7,478.

Figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that the unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1974 in the first three months of the year, coming in at 3.7%. This was down from 3.8%.

At the same time, the number of vacancies in February to April rose to a new record of 1,295,000, up 33,700 on the previous quarter and 499,300 compared to pre-pandemic levels in January to March 2020.

Average earnings adjusted for prices and excluding bonuses fell by 1.9% from a year earlier.

ONS statistician Darren Morgan said: "Total employment, while up on the quarter, remains below its pre-pandemic level. Since the start of the pandemic, around half a million more people have completely disengaged from the labour market.

"However, job vacancies are still rising, reaching yet another record high. Indeed, with the latest fall in unemployment, to its lowest rate since 1974, there were actually fewer unemployed people than job vacancies for the first time since records began.

"Continued strong bonuses in some sectors such as construction and especially finance mean that total pay is continuing to grow faster than prices on average, but underlying regular earnings are now falling sharply in real terms."

In corporate news, Imperial Brands reported lower operating profit after accounting for its exit from Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The company on reported operating profit of £1.2bn, down 26%. The departure from Russia and associated markets cost £201m while there was also a non-recurrence of a £281m gain on the disposal of Imperial's Premium Cigar Division £281m.

Real estate investment trust Shaftesbury has acquired a 200-year ungeared leasehold interest in the lower floors of 92-104 Berwick Street in Soho for £27.5m.

Shaftesbury, which purchased the leasehold from the administrator of Berwick Street Securities, said that the interest was made up of roughly 15,600 square feet of retail accommodation and approximately 3,600 square feet deemed suitable for restaurant usage. Of the total space, 5,400 square feet has been let to a supermarket, while the remainder was vacant and in shell condition.


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