London pre-open: Stocks seen flat as investors eye services data

Michele Maatouk WebFG News | 05 Dec, 2017 07:43 - Updated: 07:43 | | |

London Stock Exchange AIM LSE shares

London stocks were set for a flat open on Tuesday following uninspiring sessions in the US and Asia, as investors await services data for the UK and the eurozone and further news on Brexit negotiations.

The FTSE 100 was expected to open unchanged at 7,339.

As far as talks between the UK and the EU are concerned, Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "The two sides still have a little further to go before they can proceed onto the next stage and discuss future trade but there appears to be a more optimistic feeling that this can be achieved before the deadline in just over a week.

"The pound has already rallied in anticipation of a deal on the financial settlement and citizens’ rights although as ever complications, this time around the Irish border, are preventing these being wrapped up just yet."

Market participants will also be digesting the latest services figures from China, where the Caixin purchasing managers' index rose to 51.9 in November from 51.2 the month before, comfortably surpassing expectations for a reading of 51.5.

Markit's services PMI for the UK is due at 0930 GMT, while eurozone services PMI is at 0900 GMT.

In corporate news, Ferguson said it was on track to meet annual profit expectations after strong growth in the US offset tough trading in the UK during the first quarter.

The world's biggest distributor of plumbing and heating products reported a 10% rise in revenue from continuing operations in the three months to the end of October.

Provident Financial's Moneybarn motor finance arm is being investigated by the financial watchdog, the second of the embattled sub-prime lender's businesses to be probed.

The Financial Conduct Authority has begun to probe the processes the business applies to check customer affordability before its provides vehicle finance and the treatment of customers in financial difficulties.

Telecommunications giant Vodafone has entered into a strategic alliance with SoftBank Corp, focussing on mobile services for enterprise customers.

The FTSE 100 company said the alliance would enhance commercial and operational support for Vodafone's multinational enterprise customers operating in Japan.

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