London pre-open: Stocks to rise as investors mull retail sales

Fri 20 May 2022

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Friday as investors mull the latest UK retail sales and consumer confidence data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 78 points higher at 7,380.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Yesterday's price action saw a sea of red for markets in Europe with the most pain being felt by the retail sector after this week's profit warnings from US retail giants Walmart, Target and Kohl's.

"US markets have also seen some heavy selling this week, with both the S&P500 and Nasdaq 100 managing to hold above their lows from last week of 3,858 and 11,692, while still finishing the day lower for the second day in succession. Asia markets, on the other hand have seen a strong rebound this morning after China cut its 5-year loan prime rate by 15 basis points, for the second time this year.

"Consequently, European markets look set to open higher this morning at the end of yet another rollercoaster week for investors."

Figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that retail sales unexpectedly rose in April, underpinned in part by an increase in supermarket sales.

Retail sales were up 1.4% following a 1.2% decline March, and versus expectations for a 02.% drop. Sales at food stores were 2.8% higher in April.

Separately, a survey from GfK showed that consumer confidence fell to its lowest in May since records began in 1974, amid the cost-of-living crisis.

In corporate news, gambling firm Playtech said talks with TTB Partner were still ongoing and "progress continues to be made" but added that it was "conscious that TTB has been considering a possible offer for Playtech for 15 weeks".

An independent committee formed by Playtech said it was still exploring options for maximising shareholder value, and said the group's strong performance has continued through April and into May.

Merchant banking group Close Brothers said it had "performed well" in the third quarter of its trading year, with loan book growth in its banking division of 1.8% to 8.8m and a broadly flat year-to-date net interest margin of 7.8%.

Close Brothers said despite a backdrop of rising inflation and heightened uncertainty, it remained confident that it would continue to deliver on its long-term track record of growth and profitability.
Archived Stories

01 Jul London pre-open: Stocks seen down after Wall St losses; manufacturing PMIs eyed
30 Jun London pre-open: Stocks to fall as investors mull GDP
29 Jun London pre-open: Stocks to drop after Wall Street plunge
28 Jun London pre-open: Stocks to fall on downbeat US cues
27 Jun London pre-open: Stocks seen up on positive Asian cues