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London pre-open: Stocks seen up; borrowing figures in focus

Fri 25 September 2020 07:40 | A A A

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5889.22 | Positive 4.57 (0.08%)
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Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Friday following heavy losses in the previous session.

The FTSE 100 was called to open 40 points higher at 5,862.

Investors will be digesting the latest borrowing figures, which showed the government borrowed £35.9bn in August as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to take its toll.

Capital Economics said: "The £35.9bn the government borrowed in August (up from £5.4bn in August 2019) left borrowing in the year to date at £173.5bn, already the highest cash figure on record with seven months still to go (the previous record was £158.3bn in 2009/10).

"Of course, the government was always expected to borrow a huge sum this year. And borrowing in the year to date is actually 22% below what the OBR projected in July. If that continued, the government would borrow £290bn this year (14% of GDP)."

In corporate news, Pennon said it was on track to report first-half results in line with its own expectations and was considering the best use of funds from the sale of its waste management business.

The FTSE 100 water company said the impact of Covid-19 was broadly in line with its early estimate for a £10m reduction in net revenue for the current financial year. Pennon said its results for the six months to the end of September were resilient.

West End landlord Shaftesbury scrapped its final dividend as it said almost half of rents due for the second half had been waived or were still due.

The company which owns 16-acres of prime shopping and retail property in the heart of the capital, said £13m in rent had been waived for the six months to September 28, with a further £15.1 outstanding by September 11 as the Covid-19 lockdowns hit revenue.

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