London pre-open: Stocks seen higher ahead of eurozone, US inflation
London stocks were set to rise at the open on Thursday as investors eyed eurozone and US inflation data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open nine points higher at 7,432.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Today we get the latest flash November CPI numbers for France, Italy, and the euro area which if they follow the trend from Spain and Germany yesterday, will put the threat of any prospect of further rate hikes from the ECB even less credible than they are already.
"France CPI is forecast to slow from 4.5% to 4.1%, while in Italy we can expect to see a slowdown from 1.8% to 1.1%.
"Last but by no means least EU flash CPI is forecast to slow to 2.7% from 2.9%, however given the size of the downside surprises seen in the Germany and Spain numbers we could well see an even weaker reading of 2.5%. Core CPI is expected to slow to 3.9% from 4.2%."
The eurozone figures are due at 1000 GMT, while US PCE for October is scheduled for release at 1330 GMT.
In corporate news, Auction Technology reported a 13% increase in revenue in its final results to £135.2m, driven by growth in value-added services, diversification of revenues, contributions from EstateSales.NET (ESN), and favourable foreign exchange movements.
Adjusted EBITDA reached £64m, up 19% year-on-year, with a margin of 47%, primarily due to growth in high-margin digital marketing and recurring event fee revenue.
Operating profit increased by 34%, and adjusted net debt improved significantly, reflecting strong cash generation and the impact of the ESN acquisition.
Elsewhere, vending machine operator Me Group International said it expects to deliver annual revenues below guidance despite a record financial performance for the year.
In a year-end trading update for the 12 months to 31 October, the company said revenues will be "marginally below" the lower end of the previous guidance range of £300m to £320m but no less than £298m.