London pre-open: Stocks seen down as investors mull UK GDP
London stocks were set to fall at the open on Friday following downbeat US and Asian sessions, as investors mulled the latest UK GDP data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 38 points lower at 7,525.
Figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed the UK economy recovered to above pre-pandemic levels in November.
GDP grew 0.9%, up from 0.2% in October and coming in ahead of expectations for 0.4% growth. That left the economy 0.7% above its February 2020 level, just before the first wave of the pandemic hit.
ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: "The economy grew strongly in the month before Omicron struck with architects, retailers, couriers and accountants having a bumper month.
"Construction also recovered from several weak months, as many raw materials became easier to get hold of.
"This meant that monthly GDP exceeded its pre-pandemic level for the first time in November."
In corporate news, electricals retailer Currys reported a fall in sales over the peak Christmas period as a tough comparator year, uneven customer demand and supply disruption hit revenues.
The company said revenue for the 10 weeks to January 8 fell 5% year-on-year but rose 4% versus 2019 before the Covid pandemic struck. It guided for annual pre-tax profits of £155m.
Theatre operator Cineworld said it had successfully generated positive cash flow in the fourth quarter of 2021 thanks to steady growth in performances and attendances over the period.
Cineworld said box office and concession revenues were "particularly strong" in December, at 88% of 2019's pre-Covid level, driven by the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home across the US, UK and rest of the world as it became the first film to gross more than $1.5bn since the onset of the pandemic.