London pre-open: Stocks seen muted as investors eye inflation data
(ShareCast News) - London stocks were set for a muted open on Tuesday after closing at a fresh record high the day before, as investors await the release of key UK inflation data.
The FTSE 100 was expected to open unchanged at 7,454.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "The pound is set to take centre stage with the latest CPI inflation data for April, and if what we saw in the most recent EU CPI numbers is replicated in any way shape of form we could well see a sharp rise from March's 2.3%.
"It is expected that we could get a jump to 2.6%, while core prices could also jump above the 2% level, from 1.8% to 2.2%. If we do indeed get a sharp jump in CPI then it is likely to increase the prospect of further splits on the Bank of England monetary policy committee, with Michael Saunders and Ian McCafferty the two most likely to break ranks, and push for a rise in rates."
Hewson said that while a strong number won't mean we'll get a rate rise anytime soon, what it would do is pull back in rate rise expectations from 2019, where they are now, to slightly sooner, which in turn could prompt a retest of the $1.3000 area.
The retail price index, producer price index and consumer price index are all due at 0930 BST.
In corporate news, mobile-focussed telco Vodafone posted its full-year results for the year to 31 March, with group total revenue down 4.4% to €47.6bn, while full-year organic service revenue grew 1.9%.
The FTSE 100 company said its organic adjusted EBITDA grew 5.8% to €14.1bn, while its adjusted EBITDA including India - which was otherwise excluded from the results after Vodafone's merger with Idea Cellular there in March - up 3.4% to €15.8bn.
Easyjet flew a record number of passengers in the first six months of its financial year, though revenue per seat decreased and cost per seat increased.
The budget airline reported a headline loss before tax of £212m, which included around £45m impact from Easter not falling in the first half and a negative net currency impact of £82m.
Full year pre-tax profits at business support group DCC rose 23.7% to £268.2m on the back of a 17% rise in revenue to £12.2bn.
DCC's energy division reported a 24% jump in operating profits to £255m.
The final dividend increased 16.3% to 74.63p a share for a total dividend for the year of 111.80p a share.
FTSE 250 housebuilder Crest Nicholson said trading remains in line with expectations and it's on track to deliver growth of around 10% in revenue for the year to the end of October 2017.
Average selling prices were up 12% in the six months to the end of April from the same period a year ago at £418,000, while forward sales at the end of April were 5% ahead of last year, supported by an increase in outlet numbers.