London pre-open: Stocks to nudge up on last trading day of 2017
London stocks were expected to open a little firmer on the last trading day of 2017, although volumes are set to be very light as we head into the new year, with no data releases of note due and corporate news thin on the ground.
The FTSE 100 was called to kick off the half day of trading three points higher at 7,626. On Thursday, the index crept to a fresh record close of 7,622.88.
In corporate news, Balfour Beatty said it will pay down debt and its full year results will be higher than recently guided after it sold off another chunk of its stake in Connect Plus, the company which operates the M25 orbital motorway.
The infrastructure construction specialist sold a 7.5% stake for £62m cash, making an expected £32m profit, to funds managed by Dalmore Capital. Following sales to Dalmore at an identical price earlier this month, Balfour now has a 20% stake in the M25 operating business.
Elsewhere, low-cost airline Wizz Air said it has completed and signed documentation with Airbus which, amongst other things, provides for the purchase of 146 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft.
This purchase will enable Wizz to deliver on its fleet replacement and expansion plans and to continue delivering strong growth for the next decade.