London pre-open: Stocks set to dip after Trump bans TikTok, We Chat
London equities are expected to dip at the start of trading despite a renewed push higher overnight on Wall Street.
Weighing on sentiment was the Trump administration's decision to impose a ban on US residents and businesses from working with Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat starting 45 days from now.
A mixed reading on Chinese foreign trade for July and hesitancy ahead of the all-important monthly US non-farm payrolls report due out on Friday afternoon were further dampening investor sentiment.
Against that backdrop, the Footsie was expected to start the day 14 points lower at 6,012
Meanwhile, the year-on-year rate of growth in Chinese exports picked up from 0.5% for June to 7.2% in July (consensus: -0.5%) in US dollar terms, but that for imports slipped from 2.7% to -1.4% (consensus: 0.9%).
Despite the dip in imports, which is directly tied to domestic demand, Capital Economics's Martin Rasmussen judged that China's recovery was set to continue "in coming months" thanks to the stimulus put in place by Beijing and given the continued acceleration in credit growth.
The boost to exports from foreign demand for Covid-19-related equipment on the other hand was likely to fade.
Still ahead for later in the session was the Halifax house price index for July at 0830 BST, followed by July's non-farm payrolls numbers in the States at 1330 BST.
Rightmove posts sharp drop in interim profits
Online real estate agency Rightmove posted a sharp fall in half-year profits and agency branches, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus lockdown as it reported a cautiously optimistic outlook from trading in July. Operating profit fell 43% to £61.7m on revenue of £98m, a fall of 34%. Membership numbers for agency branches and new home developments combined were 3.3% lower since the start of the year to 19,158. Broken down that revealed a 3.5% decline in agency branches together with a 2.1% fall in new homes developments.
TP ICAP reported an improvement in underlying revenue in its first half on Friday, to £990m for the six months ended 30 June, from £922m a year earlier. The FTSE 250 company said its operating profit was up marginally to £159m from £158m, while basic earnings per share were 19.9p, rising from 19.3p. It said a 5.6p per share interim dividend would be paid on 6 November, in line with the interim dividend last year.
Standard Life Aberdeen proposed an unchanged dividend as the investment manager reported a 30% drop in first-half profit and declining revenue. Adjusted pretax profit for the six months to the end of June fell to £195m from £280m as fee-based revenue dropped 13% to £706m. The company proposed an interim dividend of 7.3p a share - the same as a year earlier.