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London stocks to open marginally lower

London stocks

The FTSE 100 finished 0.4% lower at 6,715.42 on Thursday, down 0.3% since the week began

Stocks in London are set to open marginally lower on Friday as a lacklustre week for the FTSE 100 draws to a close, with focus on a raft of PMIs for January.

In early company news, Computacenter raised profit guidance and Kainos said it now expects results for its current financial year ahead of market forecasts.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 index of large-caps to open 5.82 points, or 0.1%, down at 6,709.60 on Friday. The FTSE 100 closed down 24.97 points, or 0.4%, at 6,715.42 on Thursday – at this level down 0.3% since the week began.

Markets here in Europe have had a more subdued week, with little in the way of progress after the falls seen at the end of last week, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

The gains in the US last night don’t appear to have filtered through to markets in Asia, and don’t appear to be generating any lift here in Europe either, with a slightly negative bias expected to the open this morning, as concerns about extended lockdowns weigh on optimism, he said.

Hewson added: Today’s economic data from the UK, as well as France and Germany are set to showcase further the additional damage being done to their respective economies over the Christmas and New Year period.

The economic events calendar on Friday has PMI readings from Germany, eurozone and the UK at 0855 GMT, 0900 GMT and 0930 GMT respectively.

Consensus, according to FXStreet, sees the UK manufacturing PMI falling to 54.0 points in January from 57.5 in December. The services PMI is expected to slide to 45.0 from 49.4 the month before.

The eurozone’s manufacturing PMI is seen at 54.6 points for January, below December’s 55.2, while the services sector is in for a sharper slump to 45.0 from 46.4.

The pound and euro were mixed against the dollar ahead of the data.

Sterling was quoted at USD1.3671 early Friday, lower than USD1.3732 at the London equities close on Thursday. The euro traded at USD1.2156, firm on USD1.2151 late Thursday.

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