London pre-open: Stocks seen muted ahead of data deluge
(ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a muted open on Friday ahead of a slew of data releases.
The FTSE 100 was expected to open four points lower at 7,393.
On the data front, industrial and manufacturing production, construction output and the trade balance are due at 0930 BST.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "The pound has had a rather mixed week, doing well against the US dollar, while struggling against the euro, as UK politicians return from their summer break in much the same mood they left, as disagreements over the Brexit process continue apace.
"For several months now the manufacturing and industrial production data from the Office for National Statistics has painted a completely different picture of the UK economy than the business surveys and PMI data which has been predominantly positive. In the June data last month there was some evidence that this anomaly was starting to correct itself, however the ONS data does tend to raise more questions than answers and today's July data isn't expected to be any different.
Industrial production is expected to rise 0.2%, down from 0.5%, while manufacturing production is expected to improve to 0.3% from 0%. Construction output is expected to decline 0.3%, following on from a decline of 0.1% in June. The trade balance deficit for July is expected to narrow to £3.25bn from £4.5bn in June."
In corporate news, pub revenues at Greene King fell in the first 18 weeks of the year and it is feeling cautious about the comings months amid weaker consumer confidence, increased costs and increasing competition.
Like-for-like sales from the FTSE 250 group's owned pubs dropped 1.2%, worse than the market's 0.7% decline, though LFLs at its tenanted and leased pubs were up 1.4% over 16 weeks and its brewing arm outperformed the wider ale market as it dripped only 0.5% lower.
British Land announced its debut sterling bond issue for £300m at a coupon of 2.375% for 12 years on Friday morning.
In line with the FTSE 100 company's financing strategy, the British Land board said the new issue increased both diversity of funding and maturity.
"We are pleased to have raised this unsecured debt in the sterling market, where investor demand has reflected confidence in our strategy," said British Land chief financial officer Lucinda Bell.