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LONDON MARKET EARLY CALL: Higher call as markets reopen after holiday

Tue, 4th May 2021 06:59

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London are seen opening higher on Tuesday following the long holiday weekend, as investors continue to monitor the Covid-19 health crisis in India.

IG futures indicate the FTSE 100 index is to open 19.79 points higher at 6,989.60. The blue-chip index closed up 8.33 points, or 0.1%, at 6,969.81 on Friday.

In the US on Monday, Wall Street ended mostly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% and the S&P 500 added 0.3%, but the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.5%.

John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve's New York branch, predicted Monday the US economy would expand by 7.0% this year as it bounces back from the Covid-19 pandemic, its fastest rate since the early 1980s.

Williams also sent another dovish signal on monetary policy, saying the world's largest economy still "has a long way to go" and needs to see several months of strong employment growth to achieve a full recovery. He warned against the tendency to "overreact" to price spikes caused by the unique circumstances of the recovering economy this year, while predicting inflation would return to the central bank's 2% target in 2022.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 0.3% on Tuesday. Financial markets in Tokyo and Shanghai are closed for public holidays. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed up 0.5%.

"Asian equities are mixed this morning in a session still affected by the public holidays in mainland China and Japan. European and US futures slightly lower. UK futures are higher as they are catching up from the close yesterday," said analysts at Danske Bank.

The UK has agreed a GBP1 billion trade deal with India which the British government says will create more than 6,500 new jobs.

Around GBP533 million worth of investment into Britain will come from India, which includes GBP240 million of investment into vaccines by the Serum Institute of India. Around GBP446 million worth of export deals have also been agreed by the two nations as Britain looks for various agreements across the world having exited from the EU.

On Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a virtual meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss future co-operation between Britain and India with regards to trade, health, climate and defence.

The UK government added that the partnership already agreed will double the value of British-Indian trade by 2030.

The trade agreement comes as India's coronavirus caseload topped 20 million on Tuesday as it struggled to contain a huge outbreak, in stark contrast to gradual reopenings in the US and Europe.

Rapid immunisation programmes in wealthier nations have helped suppress outbreaks, and the EU was even looking at allowing vaccinated foreign tourists into the bloc as early as next month.

The European Commission proposed Monday that travellers who are fully vaccinated with EU-approved shots - Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca - should be allowed to enter the bloc if they are coming from countries where Covid-19 is under control.

The pound was quoted at USD1.3875 early Tuesday, higher from USD1.3827 at the London equities close Friday.

The euro was priced at USD1.2036, flat from USD1.2035. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was trading at JPY109.35, up from JPY109.26.

Brent oil was quoted at USD67.39 a barrel Tuesday morning, marginally higher from USD67.32 late Friday. Gold was trading at USD1,784.60 an ounce, up from USD1,768.81.

The UK corporate calendar on Tuesday has annual results from Camellia and a trading statement from Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital. Ahead this week, there are first-quarter results from ITV and Direct Line on Wednesday, followed by trading statements from Next and Barratt Developments on Thursday.

The economic events calendar on Tuesday has UK manufacturing PMI at 0930 BST.

Ahead in the economic calendar this week, the Bank of England's latest interest rate decision is on Thursday and the US jobs report for April on Friday.

By Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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