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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

London open: Stocks nudge up ahead of payrolls

(Sharecast News) - London stocks nudged higher in early trade on Friday as investors eyed the release of the latest US non-farm payrolls report. At 0820 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.1% at 7,521.02.

The payrolls report for November is due at 1330 GMT, along with the unemployment rate and average earnings.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Expectations are for 183k jobs to be added in November; however, it should also be remembered that a lot of additional hiring takes place in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and the Christmas period which might see the numbers come in higher.

"Whatever number we get it would be a big surprise to see any evidence of cracking in the US labour market this side of 2024, with labour force participation set to remain unchanged at 62.7%, and the unemployment rate at 3.9%."

In equity markets, Sainsbury's was boosted by an upgrade to 'buy' from 'neutral' at Goldman Sachs.

Building materials distributor Grafton Group rallied after saying it has extended its share buyback programme to end of May 2024, having initially set it to expire at the end of January.

Online trading platform IG Group rose as it announced the appointment of Breon Corcoran - the former chief executive of Paddy Power Betfair- as its new CEO.

Paddy Power owner Flutter edged up as it confirmed it was working towards a listing on the New York Stock Exchange in January but also that it will not be de-listing from London.

On the downside, miner Anglo American was under the cosh after saying it aimed to cut operational costs by around $1bn by the end of 2024, reducing production by about 4% as near-term constraints and volatile market conditions continued to weigh on earnings.

Imperial Brands was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'sector perform' from 'outperform' at RBC Capital Markets, which pointed to strong outperformance relative to British American Tobacco.

Housebuilder Berkeley Group fell after saying it has decided not to invest in any new developments due to the adverse planning and regulatory environment, and instead focus on "financial strength" following a rise in profits in the first half.

Pre-tax profit in the six months to 31 October increased by 4.6% to £298m, as operating margins held steady at 19.5%. However, the value of reservations dropped by a third due to the impact of elevated interest rates and ongoing "elevated political and macro volatility", the company said.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,521.02 0.10% FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,618.79 0.00% techMARK (TASX) 4,091.12 0.15%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 297.60p 2.59% Ocado Group (OCDO) 630.00p 2.44% St James's Place (STJ) 693.80p 1.20% Diploma (DPLM) 3,422.00p 1.12% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 289.10p 1.01% Ashtead Group (AHT) 4,931.00p 0.94% BP (BP.) 464.50p 0.92% Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,494.00p 0.88% Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,039.50p 0.87% Whitbread (WTB) 3,319.00p 0.85%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Anglo American (AAL) 2,101.50p -5.53% Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,823.00p -1.80% Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,883.00p -1.15% Vodafone Group (VOD) 69.13p -0.96% BT Group (BT.A) 133.35p -0.78% SSE (SSE) 1,856.00p -0.75% Glencore (GLEN) 450.45p -0.68% WPP (WPP) 716.20p -0.56% Barratt Developments (BDEV) 539.00p -0.55% Centrica (CNA) 148.60p -0.54%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Senior (SNR) 175.20p 4.66% Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 252.80p 4.64% Mitie Group (MTO) 104.40p 4.40% Discoverie Group (DSCV) 706.00p 3.82% Urban Logistics Reit (SHED) 122.40p 3.38% Hammerson (HMSO) 28.30p 2.69% PZ Cussons (PZC) 150.60p 2.31% Marshalls (MSLH) 252.40p 2.27% Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 563.50p 2.27% Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 662.50p 2.08%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 2,000.00p -4.76% FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 381.50p -4.63% Kainos Group (KNOS) 920.00p -3.46% Auction Technology Group (ATG) 465.00p -3.13% 888 Holdings (DI) (888) 81.80p -2.79% Primary Health Properties (PHP) 96.00p -2.59% Me Group International (MEGP) 126.80p -2.46% Travis Perkins (TPK) 767.60p -2.42% Workspace Group (WKP) 526.50p -2.41% Bodycote (BOY) 559.50p -2.36%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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