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London pre-open: Stocks seen weaker on Asian cues even as lockdown easing begins

Mon 12 April 2021 07:36 | A A A

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FTSE 100 | FTSE 250 | Paris CAC 40 | Dow Jones | NASDAQ

6947.99 | Negative 175.69 (2.47%)

Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to fall at the open on Monday, taking their cue from weaker Asian markets even as lockdown restrictions in England eased.

The FTSE 100 was called to open 17 points lower at 6,898

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "For now, European stocks look set to open lower despite the strong finish in the US, as markets in Asia came under pressure ahead of a key week for Chinese data, against a backdrop of concern that Chinese officials are now looking at cracking down on some of the frothier parts of the Chinese economy, as they look to take measures to rein back on leverage, as well as increasing regulation.

"A $2.8bn fine by Chinese regulators on Alibaba saw their shares surprisingly rise, however its counterparts in the sector, the likes of Tencent, and Baidu have slid back.

"The higher finish in the US occurred, despite a sharp move higher in US and Chinese factory gate prices in March, with both the Dow and S&P500 closing at record highs, though it is also noteworthy that the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 have lagged behind their larger counterparts."

In corporate news, shopping centre owner Hammerson confirmed it was in talks with Canadian private equity firm Brookfield on a possible sale of its retail parks. Brookfield will pay around £350m for seven retail parks, the Sunday Times reported.

"There can be no certainty that a transaction will take place or the terms on which any transaction may occur. The company will provide a further update in due course, if appropriate," Hammerson said in a statement.

AstraZeneca said a trial of its Farxiga drug for treating hospitalised Covid-19 patients did not produce statistically significant results.

"The trial did not achieve statistical significance for the primary endpoint of prevention measuring organ dysfunction and all-cause mortality, and the primary endpoint of recovery measuring a change in clinical status (from early recovery to death), at 30 days," the company said.

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