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London stocks set to edge higher following UK inflation data

London stocks

According to figures released by the ONS, inflation increased from 1.5% in April to 2.1% in May

London stocks were set to open higher on Wednesday following the latest UK inflation data.

The FTSE 100 was called to open eight points higher at 7,180.

According to figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), inflation increased from 1.5% in April to 2.1% in May – higher than the Bank of England’s (BoE) 2% target and expectations for a reading of 1.8%.

It also marked the highest consumer price inflation reading since July 2019.

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: The rate of inflation rose again in May and is now above 2% for the first time since the summer of 2019.

This month’s rise was led by fuel prices which fell this time last year, but have jumped this year thanks to rising crude prices. Clothing prices also added upward pressure as the amount of discounting fell in May, he said.

After the European close, investors will eye the latest policy announcement from the US Federal Reserve.

In corporate news, Oxford Instruments said it had bought Germany’s Wissenschaftliche Instrumente und Technologie (WITec) for up to €42m ($50.95m).

Based in Ulm, WITec is a Raman microscopy imaging provider. The deal is on a debt-free basis with €5m ($6.07m) of the purchase price conditional on trading performance over a period of 12 months following completion.

Apax Global Alpha said that the Apax X fund has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority ownership stake in CyberGrants. Apax Global Alpha is a limited partner in Apax X fund.

The FTSE 250 company said CyberGrants provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) products for corporate social responsibility (CSR), employee engagement, and volunteer management.

It said the transaction was expected to close in the third quarter. It added that it was expecting to invest up to $13.9m in the company on a look-through basis, depending on final closing arrangements.

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