Portfolio

London pre-open: Stocks seen muted; gold prices surge

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Monday 04 Dec 2023

London pre-open: Stocks seen muted; gold prices surge

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set for a muted open on Monday following a downbeat session in Asia, as investors looked ahead to key US jobs data this week and as gold prices pushed to record highs.
The FTSE 100 was called to open two points lower at 7,527.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "As we head into the final month of 2023 it's hard to see what will puncture this renewed enthusiasm for the idea that central banks are about to pivot when it comes to rate policy, with this week's services data expected to point to further weakness in Europe.

"The catalyst could be a set of strong US jobs data, with the likes of October JOLTs job openings tomorrow, the November ADP payrolls report on Wednesday or Friday's non-farm payrolls report. Strong numbers from any, or all three could prompt a modest rebound in US yields in the absence of any hawkish Fed commentary ahead of next week's final meeting of 2023."

Meanwhile, gold prices surged past $2,100 per ounce to a record high, helped a long by a slide in yields and weakness in the US dollar.

There wasn't much happening on the corporate front, but Capita said it was selling its 75% stake in Fera Science Limited, the joint venture set up eight years ago with the government that specialise in environmental testing, research, and advisory and assurance services.

The business process services group will receive cash proceeds of £62m from Bridgepoint Group, which will be used to strengthen the balance sheet and support investment.

"It was the appropriate time to find a new partner to build on the strong, successful foundations now in place at Fera and take the company onto the next stage of its development," said Capita's chief executive Jon Lewis.

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