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London pre-open: Stocks seen higher ahead of Yellen testimony

(Sharecast News) – London stocks were set for a firmer open on Tuesday following an upbeat session in Asia, ahead of a testimony by incoming US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 30 points higher at 6,750.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “A lacklustre trading session for Europe in the absence of US markets yesterday, saw European equities finish the day rather mixed with the FTSE 100 finishing the day on the back foot, while German and French markets finished the day modestly higher.

“After the early week optimism of the first trading week of the year, a more realistic tone appears to have set in as the trade-offs from a vaccine program that is increasing in pace, albeit at different speeds across Europe, are offset by concerns that lockdown restrictions may well have to get tighter first before being pared back, thus raising the risks of more permanent economic scarring.

“Today’s European open is set to be a positive one, with Asia markets also moving higher this morning, ahead of this afternoons testimony from incoming US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.”

Yellen is due to meet virtually with US lawmakers to outline the Biden administration’s case for further large-scale fiscal help for the US economy.

In corporate news, electrical retailer AO World posted a 67% rise in UK third-quarter revenues as locked down consumers bought more goods online during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said UK revenue rose to £457.3m in the three months ended 31 December 2020 as it experienced its strongest ever peak trading period over the Black Friday period and in the run-up to Christmas.

In Germany, sales were up 77.4% to 73.6m.

AO founder and chief executive John Roberts said: “I believe we’ve seen 10 years of change in 10 months, and experienced our strongest ever peak trading period.”

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