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London pre-open: Stocks set for another positive start

(Sharecast News) - Stocks in London were set to open higher on Thursday amid a dearth of corporate news, after another advance for the S&P 500. The FTSE 100 was expected to open 20 points higher on Thursday, having closed up 0.36% on Wednesday at 7,724.95.

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

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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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