London pre-open: Stocks seen lower as investors mull jobs data
London stocks were set to fall at the open on Thursday following solid gains in the previous session, as investors mulled the latest UK jobs data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 18 points lower at 6,274, having rallied on Wednesday following reports that positive results from the Oxford coronavirus vaccine will be out soon.
Investors will be digesting the latest economic growth figures out of China and looking ahead to the European Central Bank’s interest rate announcement.
Data released overnight showed that China’s economy grew 3.2% in the second quarter, an improvement on the 6.8% contraction seen in the first quarter and ahead of consensus expectations for 2.5% growth.
Market participants will also be eyeing the latest policy announcement from the ECB at 1245 BST, with rates expected to remain at -0.5%.
On home shores, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the unemployment rate was steady on the month in May at 3.9%, while the number of people on UK payrolls declined by around 650,000 from March to June.
In corporate news, energy company SSE said it still intended to declared a dividend in November as the impact of Covid-19 on the business remained in line with expectations during the first three months of the fiscal year.
The company guided for a £150m - £250m hit to operating profits and a 24.4p a share payout.
“SSE's dividend provides income for people's pensions and savings and is particularly vital given the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic,” the company said.
Experian's constant currency revenue fell 1% in the three months to the end of June as growth in North America and Brazil helped offset sharp falls in the UK and other markets.
The credit checking company said it would not provide guidance for the current financial year.