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London pre-open: Stocks seen muted as US debt ceiling talks drag on

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 25 May 2023

London pre-open: Stocks seen muted as US debt ceiling talks drag on

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set for a muted open on Thursday following heavy losses in the previous session, as investors continued to eye US debt ceiling talks.
The FTSE 100 was called to open three points lower at 7,624.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "We saw heavy falls in the DAX, FTSE 100 and CAC 40 posting their biggest one-day losses since March, with the FTSE100 falling below its April low, and to its lowest levels in six weeks.

"US markets also finished lower for the second day in a row, with the S&P 500 dropping to a one week low, while the Nasdaq 100 also finished lower, however losses here much more contained, ahead of last night's Q1 numbers from Nvidia.

"These were much better than expected as Q1 revenues came in at $7.2bn, while we saw a big upgrade to Q2 revenue guidance of $11bn, which could translate into a decent uplift when US markets open later today.

"Last night's Fed minutes showed there was a divergence of opinion in terms of support for further rate hikes amongst FOMC members, although there was broader unanimity for the idea that rates were unlikely to fall soon.

"There was also broad agreement that inflation remained 'substantially elevated'.

"The Fed's forecasts kept intact the predictions for a mild recession starting later this year, while the core inflation forecast was revised slightly higher."

In corporate news, food and beverage maker Tate & Lyle posted a surge in annual profits and sales, driven by higher prices on the back of soaring inflation.

The company said pre-tax profit came in at £152m versus £42m a year earlier. Revenue was up 27% to £1.75bn and free cash flow was £119m, £47m higher reflecting strong conversion.

For the year to March 2024, Tate & Lyle said it expected revenue growth of 4% to 6% and adjusted core earnings to rise by 7 - 9%.

Pets at Home hailed a record full-year performance as it posted a jump in underlying pre-tax profit and revenue.

In the year to 30 March, underlying pre-tax profit rose 4.8% to £136.4m, ahead of previous guidance, with a strong trading performance partly offset by higher energy costs and increased investment in digital assets as it builds out its platform.

Meanwhile, revenue was up 6.6% to £1.4bn.


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