London pre-open: Stocks seen higher on more dovish Yellen comments
(ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a firm open on Friday as investors welcomed more dovish comments from US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The FTSE 100 was expected to open 11 points higher at 7,424.
In her second day of testimony on Thursday to the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen said it would be quite challenging for the US to reach the 3% growth target set by Donald Trump.
Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "Yellen's comments on Wednesday regarding the neutral rate and subdued inflation sent a more dovish message to the markets than we've become accustomed to, particularly of late with a number of central banks suddenly appearing in a rush to tighten monetary policy. The recent commentary has weighed a little on equity markets and it would appear the prospect of a less hawkish Fed has offered a little reprieve."
Eyes will remain on the US later on Friday as banking heavyweights JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are all due to post their latest earnings numbers.
On the UK corporate front, international sales, marketing and support services group DCC said first quarter trading was in line with expectations and expected the full year to produce "profit and growth".
"Were current foreign exchange rates to prevail for the remainder of the year, the group would benefit modestly, relative to current market consensus, from a favourable translation of non-sterling profits into sterling," DCC said.
Electrical and telecoms retailer Dixons Carphone has agreed to sell it entire holdings in The Phone House Spain, along with its related companies Connected World Services Europe and Smarthouse, to Bilbao-based technological services firm Global Dominion Access, it announced on Friday.
The FTSE 250 company said following completion - which it expected to take place at the end of the second quarter - it will receive a consideration of €55m (£48.4m) in two non-contingent tranches.
Emerging markets asset manager Ashmore reported a 5% jump in fourth-quarter assets thanks to a positive investment performance and net inflows.
Total assets under management rose to $58.7bn, with net inflows of $1.2bn and a positive investment performance of $1.6bn.