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LONDON MARKET EARLY CALL: Stocks seen flat at end of muted week

25th Nov 2022 06:59

(Alliance News) - The FTSE 100 index is set to open fractionally lower on Friday, rounding off what has been a benign, though largely uninspiring, week for London's blue-chip benchmark.

It has risen 1.1% so far this week, with a 1.0% rise on Tuesday doing most of the heavy-lifting. Moves during the rest of the week were muted, however, with an abbreviated week in New York hitting trading volumes in Europe.

Stocks in New York re-open for a shorter session on Friday, closing at 1800 GMT, which is 1300 local time.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 to open 4.8 points, 0.1%, lower at 7,461.80 on Friday. The large-cap index closed up just 1.36 points at 7,466.60 on Thursday.

Asian stocks were mixed on Friday, The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo was 0.4% lower. In China, the Shanghai Composite was 0.4% higher, but the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 0.5%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed up 0.2%.

London's FTSE 100 looks set for a weekly gain despite the threat of rising Covid-19 cases in China hanging over equity markets.

"Still, investors are recognizing it's normal for cases to increase as the Chinese economy begins its long and winding road to normalcy. So stock and currency market investors are tentatively looking through the current lockdown regime, while betting on the more optimistic interpretation that China is hitting the limits of 'Covid zero' and the authorities' efforts to loosen restrictions will continue," SPI Asset Management analyst Stephen Innes commented.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2106 early Friday in London, down from USD1.2125 at the London equities close on Thursday.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces an early test of his authority, with Boris Johnson and Liz Truss joining a Tory backbench rebellion against a de-facto ban on new onshore windfarms.

The former PMs signed an amendment to the government's Levelling Up bill tabled by Simon Clarke, who served as a minister in both their governments, to allow onshore wind development.

Calls for the ending of the ban on new onshore wind farms have grown amid efforts to secure the UK's energy independence as Russia's invasion of Ukraine has squeezed supplies.

The euro stood at USD1.0431 early Friday morning, rising from USD1.0405 late Thursday. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY138.58, up from JPY138.49.

Brent oil was quoted at USD85.37 a barrel, up from USD85.08. Gold fetched USD1,756.28 an ounce, down a touch from USD1,756.76.

In Friday's UK corporate calendar, there's trading statements from sausage casings maker Devro and construction materials firm Breedon.

In the economic calendar, there is a gross domestic product reading from Germany at 0700 GMT.

By Eric Cunha; [email protected]

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