Michele Maatouk WebFG News | 18 Oct, 2017 09:03 | | |
London stocks edged higher in early trade on Wednesday as investors eyed the release of the latest UK wages and unemployment data.
At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 7,532.99, while the pound was down 0.1% against the euro and the dollar at 1.1204 and 1.3177, respectively.
The ILO unemployment rate is due at 0930 BST, along with average earnings and the claimant count rate.
The headline unemployment rate is expected to remain at 4.3%, while the more timely claimant count change reading is expected to jump from -2.8k to 1.3k month-on-month.
More attention will be focused on wages as only a powerful surprise is felt likely to knock the Bank of England off course from raising interest rates next month.
Average earnings index for the 3 months to August are forecast to come in at the same 2.1% as they did a month earlier, increasing the squeeze on real wages with August’s inflation reading at 2.9% and since rising to 3.0% in September’s.
Said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell: “The Bank of England has proven reticent to raise rates with wage growth so stagnant, fearing what a further squeeze on household income would do to the UK’s consumer spending-reliant economy. Such earnings index figures as we are expecting to get this morning, then, are a blow to sterling’s rate hike hopes.”
In corporate news, Rio Tinto nudged a touch higher despite being slapping with a £27.4m fine by the City watchdog for failings in its financial reporting process relating to the $3.7bn purchase of mining assets in Mozambique, an issue that US regulators are alleging amounts to corporate fraud.
British Airways and Iberia parent International Consolidated Airlines Group flew higher as Credit Suisse bumped up its target price on the stock, while FTSE 250 wealth manager Rathbone Brothers advanced as it reported a jump in assets in the third quarter as inflows grew.
BHP Billiton edged up despite posting a drop in quarterly iron ore output, as it still expects to meet full-year production targets.
IT services group Softcat rallied after lifting its dividend as it reported a jump in annual profit and revenue, while Spectris was a touch firmer after completing the acquisition of privately-held US company Omnicon for an initial consideration of $29m.
Gold miner Hochschild shone after saying it achieved record production levels in the third quarter.
On the downside, Reckitt Benckiser was in the red after downgrading its full year guidance as it came through a "soft" third quarter amid continued challenges in its personal health products market.
AstraZeneca ticked down even as it said that it and Merck & Co have been granted priority review by the US Food and Drug Administration for a supplemental new drug application for the use of Lynparza (olaparib) tablets in patients with metastatic breast cancer who have been previously treated with chemotherapy.
FTSE 100 - Risers
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 653.00p 2.75%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,877.00p 1.17%
G4S (GFS) 278.50p 1.02%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,899.00p 1.01%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,170.00p 0.93%
ITV (ITV) 174.80p 0.75%
Centrica (CNA) 172.40p 0.70%
DCC (DCC) 7,225.00p 0.70%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,325.00p 0.68%
National Grid (NG.) 931.30p 0.68%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Convatec Group (CTEC) 209.60p -1.60%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,937.00p -1.39%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 245.00p -1.09%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 639.50p -0.93%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 5,095.00p -0.59%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,820.00p -0.49%
CRH (CRH) 2,711.00p -0.48%
Pearson (PSON) 665.00p -0.30%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 376.90p -0.29%
GKN (GKN) 305.20p -0.26%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Softcat (SCT) 453.00p 3.14%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 187.10p 2.46%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,162.00p 2.02%
IP Group (IPO) 142.40p 1.71%
BTG (BTG) 739.00p 1.65%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 383.20p 1.62%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 267.00p 1.60%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 810.00p 1.50%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 224.50p 1.40%
Computacenter (CCC) 1,019.00p 1.39%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
PZ Cussons (PZC) 315.60p -2.11%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,162.00p -1.69%
Provident Financial (PFG) 890.00p -1.66%
Fidelity European Values (FEV) 225.00p -1.32%
P2P Global Investments (P2P) 775.00p -0.96%
GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd (GCP) 125.10p -0.95%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 190.00p -0.78%
Monks Inv Trust (MNKS) 731.50p -0.75%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 603.50p -0.74%
IMI (IMI) 1,213.00p -0.74%
In its first trading update as an AIM-listed company, fashion brand Quiz reported a 35% jump in interim revenue, driven by growth across all of its channels.
Thomas Cook said it was on track to meet expectations this year but problems in the UK, the tour operator’s biggest market, overshadowed its annual results.
London stocks edged tentatively higher in early trade on Wednesday as investors sifted through corporate releases ahead of the Autumn Budget.
Sage Group kept revenue growth and margins above their annual target and said the launch of its Business Cloud software suite would enable it to "accelerate momentum" in 2018.
SSP reported a rise in full-year profit on Wednesday as it announced a special dividend of around £100m, but said that like-for-like revenue growth next year is expected to drop slightly.
Housebuilder and regeneration partner Countryside Properties posted a rise in annual operating profit on Wednesday as revenue and completions grew amid strong demand.
United Utilities profit rose 10% in the first half as the water and waste management company increased revenue and cut costs.
London stocks were set to nudge up at the open on Wednesday as investors eyed the Autumn Budget.
Uber concealed a massive global breach of the personal information of 57 million customers and drivers in October 2016, failing to notify the individuals and regulators, the company acknowledged on Tuesday. Uber also confirmed it had paid the hackers responsible $100,000 to delete the data and keep the breach quiet, which was first reported by Bloomberg. – Guardian