London pre-open: Stocks to bounce back from heavy losses
London stocks looked set for a positive open on Thursday following heavy losses in the previous session on the back of renewed trade war concerns.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 25 points higher at 7,616, having fallen 1.3% on Wednesday after US President Trump followed through with his threat to slap tariffs on an additional $200bn worth of Chinese imports.
London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler said: "Asian markets ignored the declines on Wall Street overnight, consolidating losses before moving higher, whilst Europe is following suit. The pattern that we’ve seen over the past 24 hours of losses, consolidation, followed by solid moves higher is the same that was witnessed following previous tariff announcements and one we are likely to see when China retaliates. The pattern points to a level of optimism in traders that trade tensions will ease through negotiations going forward.
"Any retaliation by China will be a principal driving force in the markets today, potentially pulling commodities lower still whilst boosting the dollar."
On the data front, the Bank of England credit conditions survey is at 0930 BST.
In corporate news, the battle for Sky stepped up a notch late after US media giant Comcast raised its bid for the London-listed broadcaster late on Wednesday.
Comcast increased its bid to £14.75 per share from £12.50, trumping the sweetened £14 per share bid from 21st Century Fox that was made just hours earlier.
The company said that the offer, which implies a valuation of £26bn, has been recommended by Sky’s Independent Committee of directors.
International waste business Renewi said trading in the quarter from April 1 was in line with management's expectations with merger synergy and integration projects progressing well placing the company on track to deliver €30m in savings for the full year.
The company added that it would start reporting in euros to provide a more stable picture about its performance. Full year guidance remained unchanged.
Dunelm reported flat like-for-like revenues and squeezed profit margins in the fourth quarter, meaning the homewares retailer expects full year underlying profit to fall almost 7% to £102m.
In a year-end trading update, the company said total full year revenues of £1.05bn will be up 9.9% on the previous year, with LFL sales up 4.2%.
Primary Health Properties has contracted to fund and acquire a significant purpose-built primary care centre in the Republic of Ireland.
The FTSE 250 firm said its wholly-owned Irish investment vehicle, Primary Health Properties ICAV, had contracted to provide development funding for the construction of a new primary care centre in Bray, County Wicklow, for a total consideration of €22.3m.