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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 start the day in positive territory

(Sharecast News) - Stocks in London opened higher on Thursday amid a dearth of corporate news, after another advance for the S&P 500. At 0825 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.15% at 7,736.75, and the FTSE 250 was ahead 0.09% at 19,738.32.

In currency markets, sterling was last 0.15% stronger on the dollar at $1.2817, as it gained 0.08% against the euro to change hands at €1.1533.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 added 0.14% to near its all-time record high overnight.

"Wednesday was yet another day of joy and euphoria for the Federal Reserve doves, and another day of selloff for the US dollar," said Swissquote Bank senior analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

"This week's economic calendar is not heavy, but the little data feeds the Fed doves successfully, I should admit.

"Released yesterday, the Richmond manufacturing index came in much softer than expected - hinting at a significantly faster slowdown in economic activity in December, shipments also contracted significantly compared to a year ago."

Ozkardeskaya said the slowing activity fuelled the doves along with another strong US bond auction on Wednesday, which followed other solid auctions the day before.

"The US five-year paper saw a bumper demand, as investors continued to pile in to secure good deals at the current yields based on the expectation that the yields will further crumble when the Fed starts chopping the rates.

"The Nasdaq 100 renewed its record yesterday, whereas the S&P 500 was trading just 0.3% below its own all-time high level, yet couldn't yet declare a fresh record - I am confident that it will come."

It was quiet on the economic news front, with all eyes on the jobless claims data due out of the US later in the global day.

Market watchers were expecting initial jobless claims to have slightly risen to 210,000 in the week ended 23 December, up from 205,000 the prior week.

Things were equally silent in equity updates, with Zanaga Iron Ore announcing it had signed a memorandum of understanding with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for hydroelectric power solutions at the Zanaga Iron Ore Project.

The firm said the agreement aimed to advance engineering studies for hydroelectric sites near the project and establish funding arrangements between the Republic of the Congo's government and third parties.

Additionally, Zanaga reported on progress of its feasibility study update with its Chinese EPC partner, indicating potential cost reductions compared to the 2014 study, with the second phase extending into the first quarter of 2024.

Elsewhere, machine learning and data science group Insig AI, has been included in the United Nations Climate Risk Tool Dashboard.

The listing within the dashboard was intended to assist financial institutions in managing climate risk, and forms part of the UN Environment Programme's efforts to support 193 member states in that regard.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,741.93 0.22% FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,738.22 0.09% techMARK (TASX) 4,326.33 0.40%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Prudential (PRU) 885.40p 1.49% Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,730.50p 1.17% Fresnillo (FRES) 602.80p 1.01% InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 7,132.00p 0.85% Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,872.00p 0.81% Glencore (GLEN) 475.50p 0.79% Anglo American (AAL) 1,991.40p 0.79% Ocado Group (OCDO) 758.80p 0.74% Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,702.50p 0.74% Mondi (MNDI) 1,559.50p 0.65%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

BT Group (BT.A) 124.20p -1.51% Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,790.00p -0.50% Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,736.00p -0.44% Shell (SHEL) 2,546.50p -0.37% Diageo (DGE) 2,846.00p -0.26% Airtel Africa (AAF) 129.50p -0.23% Barratt Developments (BDEV) 565.20p -0.21% Centrica (CNA) 141.85p -0.21% Schroders (SDR) 437.60p -0.16% NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 219.10p -0.14%

FTSE 250 - Risers

RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 3,464.00p 8.11% Trainline (TRN) 336.40p 4.73% Spirent Communications (SPT) 128.80p 4.63% Bodycote (BOY) 618.50p 2.06% Ferrexpo (FXPO) 84.25p 2.06% Paragon Banking Group (PAG) 704.00p 1.96% Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,157.00p 1.94% Computacenter (CCC) 2,828.00p 1.73% Monks Inv Trust (MNKS) 1,070.00p 1.52% Me Group International (MEGP) 128.80p 1.42%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

SThree (STEM) 403.00p -5.06% Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,554.00p -2.02% Mitie Group (MTO) 99.00p -1.98% Genuit Group (GEN) 396.00p -1.61% Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 605.00p -1.55% Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 255.00p -1.54% Empiric Student Property (ESP) 94.00p -1.47% Greencoat UK Wind (UKW) 148.40p -1.46% Senior (SNR) 178.00p -1.33% Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 3,930.00p -1.26%

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