London pre-open: Stocks seen little changed as investors eye data slew
London stocks were set for a muted open on Wednesday as investors eyed a slew of key UK data releases.
The FTSE 100 was called to open unchanged at 7,484.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "European markets struggled for direction yesterday, with upward pressure on short term yields serving to act as a modest drag on the markets ability to build solidly on the gains seen on Monday.
"There still appears to be an abundance of caution when it comes to driving prices higher, in the wake of the turmoil of last week with the rise in yields also pressuring US markets, which also struggled with the Nasdaq 100 feeling the effects of firmer rates the most.
"This weakness doesn’t look set to translate into the European open this morning with the current caution over banks financial stability set to give a topical flavour to today’s publication of the minutes of the recent Bank of England’s Financial Stability meeting which is set to outline a detailed analysis of the recent problems that saw the UK arm of the Silicon Valley Bank taken over by HSBC."
On the macro front, investors were eyeing lending, consumer credit and mortgage approvals data at 0930 BST.
In corporate news, retailer Next posted a jump in full-year profit as it said that selling price inflation was set to be more benign than previously thought.
In the year to January 2023, pre-tax profit rose 5.7% to £870.4m, coming in ahead of company guidance of £860m. Total trading sales were up 8.4% to £5.1bn.
Elsewhere, Chemring said it had won a £43m order for the delivery of critical components used in the Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon system (NLAW).
The award follows the £229m contract that was placed on SAAB by the UK Ministry of Defence in December 2022.
"This significant award maintains and strengthens Chemring's position in the specialist materials and propellants market, which is seeing increased levels of activity as customers re-evaluate their requirements for conventional defence capabilities resulting from the evolving threat environment,” said chief executive Michael Ord.
"Building on our already strong order book this contract increases visibility in our Countermeasures & Energetics segment for FY24 and beyond."