(Alliance News) - London's FTSE 100 is called to open higher on Wednesday, eating into some of its losses from the early part of the week, ahead of some US jobs data in the afternoon.
While not the official nonfarm payrolls, Wednesday's ADP jobs report at 1315 GMT will provide an insight into the health of the US jobs market.
According to FXStreet cited consensus, there are expected to be 130,000 job additions, picking up from 113,000 in October.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson commented: "We are starting see increasing evidence that the US jobs market is starting to slow, with vacancies falling to their lowest level since March 2021 and with the last two ADP reports adding a combined 202,000 new jobs as private sector hiring slows. October saw 113,000 jobs added an improvement on September and November is expected to see an improvement on that to 130,000 given that a lot of additional hiring takes place in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and the Christmas period so we're unlikely to see any evidence of cracking in the US labour market this side of 2024."
US job openings fell to their lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years in October, as the labour market continued to cool, numbers on Tuesday had showed.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the number of job openings decreased to 8.7 million on the last business day of October, down from a downwardly revised 9.4 million in September, the lowest level of openings since March 2021. Economists, who consider job openings a proxy for labour demand, had been expecting 9.3 million vacancies.
In early UK corporate news, British American Tobacco said revenue growth for 2023 will be at the lower end of guidance. It also guided for a tepid top-line improvement in 2024. Bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment agreed to a takeover, while Tui is mulling an exit from the London Stock Exchange.
Here is what you need to know at the London market open:
FTSE 100: called up 0.3% at 7,514.64
Hang Seng: up 0.8% at 16,469.60
Nikkei 225: up 2.0% at 33,445.90
S&P/ASX 200: up 1.7% at 7,178.40
DJIA: closed down 79.88 points, 0.2%, at 36,124.56
S&P 500: closed down 0.1% at 4,567.18
Nasdaq Composite: closed up 0.3% at 14,229.91
EUR: down at USD1.0784 (USD1.0809)
GBP: down at USD1.2597 (USD1.2613)
USD: down at JPY146.97 (JPY147.10)
GOLD: up at USD2,031.85 per ounce (USD2,025.87)
OIL (Brent): down at USD77.34 a barrel (USD78.49)
(changes since previous London equities close)
Wednesday's key economic events still to come:
15:00 GMT Bank of Canada interest rate decision
10:00 GMT EU retail sales
10:30 GMT UK Bank of England financial stability report
09:30 GMT UK construction PMI
13:30 GMT US trade balance
13:15 GMT US ADP jobs report
Support for Ukraine will top the agenda when David Cameron makes his first visit to the US as UK foreign secretary. He will arrive in Washington later for a two-day visit, as world leaders grapple with the ongoing battle in Ukraine as well as the escalating crisis in Gaza. The visit comes at a crunch time for Kyiv, with concerns about the provision of US military aid amid deep divisions in Congress about new funding and support. The foreign secretary is expected to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Republican and Democratic congressional leaders as part of the trip. Ahead of the Washington visit, Cameron announced a GBP37 million package of winter humanitarian support for the country as it continues to fight Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces. The crisis in the Middle East will also top discussions, as Israel widens its offensive into southern Gaza amid growing fears about the fate of civilians. Cameron said: "The UK and the US are deeply bound by a shared mission to defend the values that provide security and prosperity for us all. That is why we remain unwavering in our support of Ukraine. If we allow Putin's aggression to succeed, it will embolden those who challenge democracy and threaten our way of life. We cannot let them prevail. "We also stand united in the Middle East, working together to ensure long-term security and stability in the region, and in responding to the challenges posed by China."
US President Joe Biden said Tuesday he was unsure if he would be seeking reelection next year were Republican rival Donald Trump not also trying for a second term. "If Trump wasn't running, I'm not sure I'd be running. But we cannot let him win," the 81-year-old Democrat told a 2024 election campaign fundraiser in Weston, Massachusetts. Biden praised the "powerful voice" of former Republican lawmaker Liz Cheney who warned on Sunday that the US would be "sleepwalking into dictatorship" if twice-impeached former president Trump returns. He also mentioned the Atlantic magazine outlining what it said were the threats posed by a second Trump term, one of three major US media outlets to issue similar warnings in recent days along with the Washington Post and New York Times.
BROKER RATING CHANGES
UBS cuts Diageo to 'sell' (neutral) - price target 2,650 (3,650) pence
RBC starts 3i Group with 'outperform' - price target 2,550 pence
COMPANIES - FTSE 100
British American Tobacco said 2023 revenue growth will be at the lower end of guidance, cautioned on a tricky environment for its combustibles arm in the US and predicted pressure next year from "regulatory inaction on illicit disposable vapes". The tobacco company expects organic revenue growth for the year at the lower end of 3% to 5% range at constant currency. It expects mid-single figure constant currency adjusted diluted earnings per share growth. Chief Executive Tadeu Marroco said: "In 2023 we continue to expect another year of delivery in line with our guidance. I am encouraged by the strong performances of Vuse and Velo, delivering strong volume led revenue growth, and increased profitability. As a result, we now expect New Categories to be broadly breakeven in 2023, two years ahead of our original target. In combustibles, while the US macro-economic environment remains challenging, I am encouraged that our commercial plans are starting to deliver early signs of portfolio recovery." Looking to 2024, it expects "continued headwinds" in its US business. The unit will be hurt by "macro-economic pressures on the combustibles market and regulatory inaction on illicit disposable vapes". It expects low-single digit revenue and adjusted profit from operations growth in 2024, both on an organic, constant currency basis. BAT said it is making "investment choices" to boost its US arm. Looking further afield, it set out a commitment to "building a smokeless world". It eyes 50% of its revenue to stem from non-combustibles by 2035. BAT added: "Looking forward, we expect accretive New Category growth and stable combustible revenue to continue to drive total nicotine industry revenue growth. This underpins our medium-term guidance where we expect a progressive improvement to a 3-5% revenue and mid-single digit adjusted profit from operations growth, on an organic basis at constant rates by 2026."
Weir Group announced a 20% operating margin target for 2026, with the mining technology company upping its cost saving target. It now targets GBP60 million in absolute savings in 2026, doubled from its previous GBP30 million aim. "Today, I am delighted to announce our new group operating margin target of 20% in 2026. Since completing our portfolio transformation in 2021, we have been on a journey to sustainably higher margins and are on track to deliver an operating margin of 17% this year," Chief Executive Jon Stanton said ahead of an investor day on Wednesday. "I am confident and excited to move into this next phase, with our margin expansion journey well underpinned. Strong structural growth trends in our markets, the benefits of our resilient compounding business model and opportunities from our Performance Excellence transformation programme mean we are well placed to deliver excellent outcomes for all stakeholders as a focused mining technology leader."
COMPANIES - FTSE 250
Tour operator Tui hailed "positive booking momentum" and it announced it is mulling delisting from the London Stock Exchange. Tui said there has been a "notable liquidity migration from UK to Germany". "In light of the views expressed by shareholders and any further feedback from shareholders, the executive board is currently considering, if an upgrade to a Prime Standard listing in Frankfurt with MDAX inclusion and a delisting from the London Stock Exchange would be in the best interest of shareholders," Tui added. For the financial year ended September 30, revenue improved by a quarter to EUR20.67 billion from EUR16.55 billion. It swung to a pretax profit of EUR551 million from a loss of EUR146 million. Underlying earnings before interest and tax totalled EUR977 million, more than doubling from EUR409 million. For the fourth-quarter alone, revenue surged 11% on-year to EUR8.48 billion and pretax profit jumped 30% to EUR1.15 billion. Looking to financial 2024, Tui expects revenue to rise 10% year-on-year and its underlying Ebit to improve 25%. "Our guidance for FY24 is provided within the framework of the current macroeconomic as well as geopolitical uncertainties especially in the Middle East. It is based on the current positive booking momentum across both seasons, albeit with summer at an early stage, as well as a return to a normal hedging policy," it added. Looking further afield, it set out a medium-term target of achieving compound annual underlying Ebit growth of 7% to 10%.
Ten pin bowling operator Ten Entertainment has agreed to a GBP287 million takeover from a vehicle indirectly owned by investment funds advised by Trive Capital Partners. Neon Buyer will pay 412.5 pence per Ten Entertainment share, a 33% premium to its 310p closing price on Tuesday. The deal values Ten's share capital at GBP287 million on a fully diluted basis. Ten Entertainment said: "Notwithstanding the opportunities to accelerate this growth, the TEG directors are conscious of the need to be balanced against the uncertainties and risks that exist in the short and medium term. TEG is not immune to the highly unstable national and international political outlook together with a volatile economic backdrop, all of which have impacted UK economic conditions and UK consumer confidence as well as having led to significant inflation in certain input costs."
By Eric Cunha, Alliance News news editor
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