London pre-open: Stocks to edge up ahead of US mid-term elections
London stocks were set to edge higher at the open on Tuesday following a mostly firmer session on Wall Street, as investors eyed the US mid-term elections.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 15 points higher at 7,118.
London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler said: "The Democrats are broadly expected to flip the House of Representatives, whilst the House of Senate is expected to remain in Republican hands. However, the race in the House is very tight and could swing either way.
"In early trade this morning the dollar is trading higher versus the Japanese yen indicating that there is not much fear in the markets surrounding these elections despite it being the biggest political event of the year. The fact is the economy remains strong which will keep the Fed on track to continue hiking regardless of the election outcome."
In UK corporate news, Associated British Foods reported stronger earnings per share for the year to September but said it expects growth to be flat in the coming year.
Strong growth from its Primark retail arm, along with its Grocery, Agriculture and Ingredients divisions, offsetting a decline in the sugar business, resulted in adjusted profits before tax of £1.37bn and adjusted earnings per share of 134.9p, up 5% and 6% respectively.
Further strong expansion of its wholesale arm lifted sales at Morrisons in the third quarter, but growth slowed from the rapid rate in the preceding quarter.
Group like-for-like sales were up 5.6% in the 13 weeks to 4 November, excluding fuel, as the supermarkets business grew 1.3% and the wholesale business 4.3%.
Packaging company DS Smith said it expects return on sales and adjusted operating profit in the half year to the end of October to be "materially" ahead of the same period a year ago.
In a pre-close trading update, the company said the integration of Interstate Resources continues to go very well, with major customers now procuring from the group in both Europe and the US.