London pre-open: Stocks seen lower amid reports of tougher restrictions
London stocks were set to fall at the open on Monday amid reports that Covid-19 restrictions in England are set to get even tougher.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 20 points lower at 6,853.
Investors will be digesting reports over the weekend that the government is considering tightening restrictions even further, with masks outside, curfews and even a ban on people leaving the house more than once a week said to have been discussed.
Political events in the US were also likely to be in focus.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Trade, said: "Lawmakers have started the process to impeach President Trump, but the fact is that there is not enough time left for this process to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
"The impeachment proceedings are likely to shape up in the House of Representatives, and this means more volatility for the US stock market. These small bumps may not be able to distract investors too much as their focus is beyond these events."
In corporate news, budget airline easyJet has strengthened its balance sheet by signing a new five-year term loan facility of $1.87bn (£1.4bn). The carrier said the loan was underwritten by a syndicate of banks and supported by a partial guarantee from the UK government’s Export Development Guarantee scheme.
British Land said 73% of its retail stores were open before Christmas and 32% were trading under the latest national lockdown.
On 7 January it had collected 71% of rent due for payment in the December quarter comprising 99% of office rents and 46% of retail rents.