(Sharecast News) – London stocks were set to edge up at the open on Monday following a positive Asian session, as investors weighed up the speedy vaccine rollout against the possibility of tighter travel restrictions.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 15 points higher at 6,710.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: “While US markets continued to set new records last week, European markets traded in a more lacklustre fashion as the early year optimism of the first week of 2021, gave way to a lot more caution, as a rise in short-term economic pessimism, and the prospect of tighter lockdown restrictions for longer, raises the prospect of longer-term economic damage.
“These concerns, along with the prospect that EU leaders might look to consider internal border closures due to rising infection and death rates, has seen investors in Europe become a lot more cautious, especially given that countries in Europe have been much slower in coordinating a speedy vaccine rollout.
“Whatever mistakes the UK government has made with respect to the pandemic, and there have been many, the vaccine rollout continues to go from strength to strength, with almost 7m people getting their first jab, as the number count continued to rise over the weekend.
“This outperformance on the vaccine front may go some way to explaining why the pound has managed to hold up fairly well so far this year, despite the deterioration in the most recent economic data, which is to be expected given the tighter restrictions.”
In corporate news, TP Icap said Covid-19 prevented the company from staffing European offices to comply with post-Brexit rules and that its UK operations no longer had permission to service all clients in the EU.
The interdealer broker said it was serving EU clients where possible under temporary and existing rules and it did not expect any material impact on its broking business or financial results as a result of the holdup.
TI Fluid Systems said it was paying a first quarter interim dividend of 6.74 euro cents a share, but not a final payout for 2020 as it forecast adjusted EBIT margin to be “slightly better than expected”.
The group said it expected to report revenue of approximately 2.8bn for the year to December 31. On a constant currency basis, it guided for 2020 revenue performance to be in line with the decline in global light vehicle production.