London pre-open: Stocks to rise ahead of Biden's budget
London stocks were set to rise at the open on Friday as investors focus on US President Biden’s spending plans, although travel and leisure issues could be dented after Prime Minister Boris Johnson cast doubt on the lifting of all Covid restrictions next month.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 24 points at 7,044.
Johnson said on Thursday that "we may need to wait" and that all Covid restrictions may not be lifted on 21 June as planned due to the spread of the Indian variant. As a result, travel and leisure stocks could be hit.
Investors will also be watching out for the unveiling of Joe Biden's expected $6trn budget. IG market analyst Joshua Mahony said the budget includes "huge" provisions for infrastructure projects.
"The past year has seen infrastructure spending in China drive sharp gains for commodities, yet Biden’s plans highlight how that role could be progressively shared with Western nations as green infrastructure spending takes hold," he said. "Recent declines in commodities such as copper and iron ore have been borne out of fears that China will clamp down on speculative practices which have driven up prices."
In corporate news, AG Barr said trading in the current financial year was encouraging and in line with expectations after the easing of lockdown restrictions for the hospitality sector.
The beverage maker said sales of soft drinks were supported by new product launches and its Funkin cocktail range was performing strongly. AG Barr said it was confident about prospects for the year ending in January.
UK care-based housing and healthcare real estate investment trust Civitas said it had bought 10 supported living properties across Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and Wales for £8.6m.
The portfolio provides adapted homes along with personalised specialist care for 41 people with complex mental health care needs, administered by three care providers which already work across other properties within the Civitas portfolio, the company said.
The properties are leased with rents adjusted annually in line with CPI over the full-term and are subject to a lower limit of inflation of 0% per annum and a maximum indexation of 4% a year.