London pre-open: Stocks seen up after solid Wall St session
London stocks were set to rise at the open on Friday, taking their cue from a positive session on Wall Street.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 10 points higher at 7,120.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "As a consequence of last night’s strong US finish, markets here in Europe look set to open higher, with travel stocks likely to be in focus after the government added Malta, Madeira and the Balearics to the green list, as well as indicating that it would look at dropping quarantine rules for fully vaccinated UK residents returning home from amber list countries later in the summer."
A survey released earlier by GfK showed UK consumer sentiment was stable in June but concerns about rising inflation appear to have undermined households' confidence in the economic outlook.
The UK consumer confidence index was unchanged at -9 in June and four of the index's measures improved from a month earlier.
People's view of their financial situation over the past 12 months improved to zero from -4 and the personal financial outlook edged up one point to 11. Views on the economic situation over the past year and whether to make a large purchase also improved slightly.
The biggest change was in household's view of the general economic situation over the next 12 months, which dipped to -2 from +4 in a month. The score was still 46 points higher than June 2020.
Joe Staton, GfK's client strategy director, said: "The upwards trajectory for the index since the dark days at the start of the pandemic is currently still on track. However, forecasts for rising retail price inflation could weaken consumer confidence quickly and that may account for the six-point dip in June in our measure for the wider economy in the coming year."
In corporate news, UDG Healthcare said US private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice was considering an improved final offer of 1,080p a share for the company.
The two companies in May had agreed a 1,023p-a-share deal in May, valuing UDG at £2.6bn, but major shareholders, including Allianz Global Investors and M&G Investments, said the offer undervalued the Irish outfit.
CD&R said it would consider an improved offer if another firm decided to swoop for UDG, whose board said it would accept the latest bid if made.