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London pre-open: Stocks to edge up after UK GDP data

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to edge up at the open on Wednesday following a positive close on Wall Street, as investors mulled the latest UK GDP figures and looked ahead to a policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. The FTSE 100 was called to open nine points higher at 7,551.

Data released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that the economy unexpectedly shrank in October, with all three sectors contracting.

The economy shrank 0.3% following 0.2% growth in September and versus expectations for a flat performance. Over the last quarter, GDP was unchanged.

ONS director of economic statistics, Darren Morgan, said: "Our initial estimates suggest that GDP growth was flat across the last three months.

"Increases in services, led by engineering, film production and education - which recovered from the impact of summer strikes - were offset by falls in both manufacturing and housebuilding.

"October, however, saw contractions across all three main sectors. Services were the biggest driver of the fall with drops in IT, legal firms and film production - which fell back after a couple of strong months.

"These were also compounded by widespread falls in manufacturing and construction, which fell partly due to the poor weather."

After the close of London markets, the Fed is due to make its final policy announcement of 2023.

In corporate news, Entain chief executive officer Jette Nygaard-Andersen has resigned from her position with immediate effect.

It has appointed Stella David, a non-executive director, as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is selected.

Jette's decision to leave came after the resolution of HMRC's investigation into the company's legacy Turkish-facing business.

Ventilation products group Volution said it expects to beat profit forecasts after a strong performance across the board in the first four months of the financial year.

The company said that all three of its geographic regions increased earnings over the four months to 30 November, but the strongest performance came from UK residential activities.

Despite the recent drop in new build completions, the company has benefitted from regulatory drivers for energy-efficient ventilation solutions, with customers refurbing properties to resolve mould and condensation issues.

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