London pre-open: Stocks seen muted ahead of jobs data
London stocks were set for a muted open on Tuesday as investors eyed the release of key UK jobs data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open three points lower at 7,528.
The ILO unemployment rate, claimant count and average earnings are all due at 0930 BST.
Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said the UK economy is expected to have added 45,000 new jobs in May versus 32,000 a month earlier, while the unemployment rate is seen unchanged at 3.8%, the lowest levels in more than 45 years.
"Alas, the muddy political scene gives no respite to the pound. The UK enters the final week of the Conservative leadership race. Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt said that even a large concession on the Irish border may not be enough to seal a Brexit deal with the European Union.
"It becomes increasingly clear that the British government will toughen its tone in the Brexit negotiations under the new Prime Minister and that could well lead to a no-deal exit, even though Britain’s Parliament will try its best to avoid a no-deal outcome.
"Cable trades a touch above the 1.25 mark. The selling pressure is real as the market prices in the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. If the pound slips below the 1.25 mark against the greenback, decent 1.25-put option expiries could further vacuum the pair downwards this week."
In corporate news, Rio Tinto said costs at its Oyu Tolgoi underground copper mine in Mongolia would blow out by up to $1.9bn with a delay of up to 30 months.
The multi-national mining giant said the capital cost of the project had now risen to an estimated $6.5bn - $7.2bn from an original estimate of $5.3bn.
The mine's delay was due to its geology, Rio said in a statement, adding that it expected to determine the preferred mine design and a final estimate of cost in the second half of 2020.
Experian reported first quarter revenue growth of 4% at actual exchange rates, falling in line with expectations as strong growth in North America was driven by a first time contribution from newly acquired AllClear ID, a Texas-based identity theft protection business.
However, the credit reporting company's UK revenue declined by 6% amid lower returns from the region's decisioning and B2B segments.
Building materials group CRH has reached agreement to divest of its Europe distribution business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone for an enterprise value of €1.64bn, payable in cash.
The company said the transaction remained subject to regulatory approval. It said the business comprised its entire general builders' merchants business in Europe, including its sanitary heating and plumbing business, with the divestment following a “comprehensive” strategic review over the last several months.