London pre-open: Stocks to nudge up as Brexit remains in focus
London stocks were set to nudge tentatively higher on Tuesday as investors turn their attention to parliament.
The FTSE 100 was called to open seven points higher at 7,170.
Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said: "The government published a 110-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Monday. Today, MPs will vote on whether they go ahead with Johnson’s Brexit bill. According to recent talks, Johnson has just enough support to pass his withdrawal bill through parliament.
"If the bill passes, British policymakers should also agree on whether they should accelerate the timetable to scrutinise the bill in order to deliver the Brexit by next week.
"The pound’s destiny depends mostly on the withdrawal vote, given that if Johnson’s deal passes through Parliament, Europeans will likely forgive a minor delay in finalizing the divorce.
"But investors can never be too careful; the one-week risk reversals hint that the downside risks are better hedged than the upside risks."
On the data front, public sector net borrowing figures are at 0930 BST, while the CBI industrial trends survey is at 1100 BST.
In corporate news, distribution and services group Bunzl said third quarter revenue grew by 4% and reaffirmed full year expectations against mixed global macroeconomic conditions.
Acquisitions contributed 1.5% with underlying revenue decreasing by 1%, reflecting lower sales to a large grocery customer in North America due to account specific product specification changes and price deflation, the company said.
Total committed spend on acquisitions so far this year came to around £100m as the company said a number of takeover discussions were taking place.
Premier Inn owner Whitbread reported a 4% drop in interim adjusted profit before tax as revenue remained flat and operating margins fell after challenging business conditions impacted regional hotel demand.
The hospitality giant said weak business confidence and declining leisure confidence had continued into the third quarter, making it difficult for the company to predict results for the second half of the year and FY21.
Anglo American said copper output this year would be at the lower end of expectations due to a chronic drought in Chile that also threatened 2020 production.
Copper production guidance was tightened to 630,000-650,000 tonnes from 630,000-660,000) due to the severe drought, which also remains a risk for 2020 production.
The miner also reported a 14% fall in diamond output at its De Beers unit as it faced weaker market demand due to macro-economic uncertainty as well as “continued midstream weakness”. The company said it’s “broadly on track” to deliver its full-year production targets.