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(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to open higher on Friday, taking their cue from a positive session on Wall Street as investors eye a speech by Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 19 points higher at 7,300.
Investors will be digesting a slew of Chinese data releases, with industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment all out earlier.
As far as trade relations are concerned, market participants had been a little more hopeful in recent days after Chinese officials welcomed an invitation for new talks from US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. However, a tweet from US President Trump in Thursday did little to calm nerves, as he said: "The Wall Street Journal has it wrong, we are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us. Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing. We will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home. If we meet, we meet?"
Markets had a muted reaction on Thursday to Carney's warning that a no-deal Brexit could send house prices crashing up to 35%.
CMC Markets analyst David Madden said this was probably down to the fact that there were similar warnings about the EU vote itself that didn't play out.
"Sterling will remain in focus as Mark Carney's speech in Dublin will be published at 11am (UK time)," he said.
In corporate news, JD Wetherspoon reported profits slightly ahead of forecasts, while boss Tim Martin again used the results release to call for a free-trade Brexit.
The pub group generated £1.69bn of revenue in the 52 weeks to 29 July, up 4.2% on last year with like-for-like-sales up 5.0%. Profit before tax rose 6.2% to £107.2m.
Close Brothers has announced the sale of its retail point of sale finance business, Close Brothers Retail Finance, to Swedish payment solutions group Klarna for an undisclosed sum.
The disposal of the business, which provides unsecured finance to consumers through retailers, is expected to complete in the current calendar year, subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions.
Close Brothers said the business does not provide a long-term fit with its predominantly secured business model.
AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm MedImmune announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Lumoxiti (moxetumomab pasudotox-tdfk) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory hairy cell leukaemia (HCL) who had received at least two prior systemic therapies, including treatment with a purine nucleoside analogue.
The FTSE 100 drugmaker said the phase III trial results demonstrated 75% of patients receiving Lumoxiti achieved an overall response, with 30% having a durable complete response.
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