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London pre-open: Stocks seen higher after US tech rebound

Thu, 7th Dec 2017 07:40

(ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a positive open on Thursday, with sentiment underpinned by a rebound in US tech shares overnight.

The FTSE 100 was expected to open 20 points higher at 7,368.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "A lot has been made of the recent tech sell-off but it also needs to be put into perspective. Despite recent price falls companies like Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are still over 40% higher year to date, and yesterday we did see some light buying return.

"US markets also struggled for direction yesterday with only the Nasdaq finishing the day slightly higher as investors adopted a "wait and see" approach ahead of tomorrow's November payrolls number, and a rebound in the tech sector after recent declines.

"Markets are also keeping an eye on events in Washington as US lawmakers try and absorb two different versions of the recently passed tax bill into one piece of legislation that both houses can agree on. There is also the small matter of the raising of the debt ceiling, which if delayed could well see a partial government shutdown over the weekend."

Brexit will continue to be firmly in focus after the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier told member states on Wednesday that the British government has just 48 hours to agree a text on a potential deal or it will be told that negotiations cannot proceed to the next stage.

Barnier told EU ambassadors that Downing Street had told him a potential solution was being worked out that could satisfy Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist party and the Republic of Ireland. However, that has yet to be signed off.

On the data front, Halifax house prices are at 0830 GMT.

In corporate news, GVC Holdings is in advanced talks with Ladbrokes Coral about a possible 3.9bn takeover of the bookmaker.

GVC, which is listed on the FTSE 250 with a market cap of under 3bn, said the possible offer would see it offer a mix of cash and shares, plus a further value of up to 42.8p structured as a 'contingent value right' determined by the outcome of the government's gaming machine review. Based on these terms, GVC shareholders would hold roughly 53.5% and LCL's 46.5% of the enlarged business.

St. Modwen Properties updated the market on its trading for the period to 30 November on Thursday, reporting that it has delivered around one million square feet of commercial development this year. The FTSE 250 company said that, in line with its strategic plans, in the second half of the year it continued to make "good progress" with its pipeline of high quality development opportunities; focussing predominantly on its A1 industrial and logistics portfolio.

Legal & General said it expected a record year for profits and earnings with growth accelerating across its businesses. The insurer said it had great momentum in all its businesses with particularly strong growth in recent weeks.

Coca-Cola HBC has appointed Zoran Bogdanovic as its new chief executive officer with immediate effect, succeeding Dimitris Lois who passed away in October.

Bogdanovic will also be nominated as an executive director on the board of directors of Coca-Cola HBC at the next general meeting of shareholders.

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