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London pre-open: Stocks to fall as investors mull borrowing data

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 24 May 2022

London pre-open: Stocks to fall as investors mull borrowing data

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to fall at the open on Tuesday as investors mulled the latest borrowing figures.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 53 points lower at 7,460.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "We saw a strong start to the trading week for European markets yesterday, with decent gains across the board, however before one gets too bullish, yesterday's moves kept us below the highest levels seen this month.

"US markets also had a good day, building on the rebound that we saw off Friday's 18-month lows from the Nasdaq and S&P500 to close modestly higher.

"While US markets closed in solidly positive territory yesterday, momentum overnight has waned with the result that today's European open looks set to be a negative one, with the main focus today on UK public sector borrowing and flash PMI data, as well as comments from ECB President Christine Lagarde."

Figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that UK government borrowing fell in April from the previous year, down £5.6bn to £18.6bn. Nevertheless, it remained above pre-Covid levels and was the fourth-highest April borrowing since monthly records began. Compared with April 2019, it was up £7.9bn.

In corporate news, home repairs and emergency services provider Homeserve said it had almost trebled annual profits as it prepared to be sold to Brookfield Asset management in a £4.4bn deal.

The company posted a pre-tax profit of £175.1m for the year to March 31, up from £47.2m a year earlier. No final dividend was declared in light of the cash offer, it added.

Drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals revealed that chief executive Siggi Olafsson had resigned from both the role and the company's board of directors in order to pursue other opportunities.

Hikma, which has already initiated an externally facilitated process to replace Olafsson, stated chairman Said Darwazah will now assume all CEO responsibilities. Olafsson will remain available to the group until he departs on 24 June.


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