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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 pre-open: Stocks seen up on positive Wall St cues

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Wednesday following a positive session on Wall Street, as investors eyed the latest reading on the UK services and manufacturing sectors. The FTSE 100 was called to open 24 points higher at 7,509.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "After an initially positive start European markets finished the day lower after as the sugar rush from reports of a large-scale Chinese stimulus plan, gave way to scepticism that it would be enough to deliver the help needed when what is needed is proper economic reforms as opposed to more liquidity.

"US markets underwent another record-breaking session with the Nasdaq 100 and S&P500 securing new record highs, while the Dow finished the day lower, as Netflix beat expectations after the closing bell on its Q4 numbers.

"Last night's positive finish in the US looks set to see markets in Europe open higher again today, though we could well struggle to hang onto the gains if recent experience is any guide."

On the UK macro front, the S&P Global manufacturing and services PMIs for January are due at 0930 GMT.

In corporate news, budget airline easyJet said it had taken a £40m hit from the Middle East conflict, but said it expected first-half losses to narrow and reported positive booking momentum for the summer.

The airline was forced to suspend flights to Israel and Jordan after the Hamas Islamic group attacked Israel last October, with demand also softening on its routes to Egypt.

Pre-tax losses for the three months to December 31 came in at £126m from £133m a year earlier. Revenues were up 16% to £1.1bn.

"Although still early, bookings for summer 2024 are building well, with the turn of the year bookings period showing an increase in both volume and pricing compared to the same period last year," the company said.

"This positive momentum is also evident in the holidays business, where we continue to expect customer growth to exceed 35% year-on-year."

Asset manager Abrdn announced it is embarking on a new cost-cutting initiative to save £150m by the end of 2025 as it reported net outflows of over £12m in the second half.

The new transformation programme is "designed to restore our core Investments business to an acceptable level of profitability and allow for incremental reinvestment into growth areas".

Fresnillo reported steady attributable silver production in the fourth quarter, driven by increased Saucito production and higher San Julián Veins ore grades, offset by lower grades at Fresnillo and San Julián (DOB).

Compared to 2022, quarterly silver production increased 13.1%, primarily due to the Juanicipio ramp-up. Full-year gold production in 2023 meanwhile decreased 4%, mainly from declining production at Noche Buena, while quarterly gold production increased 15.1% over the third quarter, but decreased 9.1% year-on-year.

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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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