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London pre-open: Stocks seen up as investors mull jobs data

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Tuesday following a positive session in Asia, as investors mulled the latest UK jobs data. The FTSE 100 was called to open 13 points higher at 7,558.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "European equity markets got off to a slow start to the week yesterday, closing modestly higher with the FTSE100 underperforming due to concerns over weak demand out of China.

"US markets were also resilient with the S&P500 and Dow both eking out new highs for 2023, as investors looked cautiously towards this week's central bank meetings of the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and the Bank of England, and their respective outlooks for rate policy heading into 2024.

"Asia markets have continued in the positive vein of yesterday with that momentum set to continue into today's European open.

"With the Federal Reserve due to start its 2-day meeting later today, and the Bank of England set to decide on rates on Thursday, today's UK wages data and US CPI numbers could go some way to shaping how policymakers react when they deliver their guidance on monetary policy later this week."

Figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that the amount of people out of work remained unchanged, while wage growth cooled.

The unemployment rate was largely unchanged in the three months to October, at 4.2%. Also largely unchanged was the economic inactivity rate, at 20.9%.

In corporate news, AstraZeneca said it has agreed to buy Icosavax - a US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company - for up to $1.1bn.

AstraZeneca said the deal will build on its expertise in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), strengthening its vaccines & immune therapies late-stage pipeline with Icosavax's lead investigational vaccine candidate, IVX-A12.

Elsewhere, GSK said it has submitted a regulatory application to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to expand the use of its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for adults aged 50-59 at an elevated risk of the disease.

It followed Japan's prior approval of the vaccine for adults over 60, and was based on positive results from a phase three trial evaluating the vaccine's safety and immune response in the 50-59 age group, especially those with underlying medical conditions.

GSK said it aimed to be the first company to extend RSV vaccination to the younger age group, with updates on regulatory progress in the US and EU expected in early 2024.

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