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27 Jan 2021 | 07:37

London pre-open: Stocks seen lower as tech earnings eyed

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to fall at the open on Wednesday amid ongoing worries about the pandemic, as investors eye earnings from US technology giants. The FTSE 100 was called to open 19 points lower at 6,635.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Markets in Europe look set to continue to be driven by the prospect of further restrictions being imposed by governments concerned about seeing further increases in coronavirus cases, from speculation about a third lockdown in France, which could come by the weekend, to the prospect of further restrictions here in the UK.

"With Apple and Facebook to come later today, Microsoft appears to have set the right tone blowing through expectations for Q2 boasting a 17% rise in annualised revenues, driven by its Intelligent Cloud business which saw a rise in revenues of 23% year on year. This outperformance saw quarterly sales rise above $40bn for the first time ever, to $43bn, while profits came in at $15.5bn, a rise of 33%."

In UK corporate news, Fresnillo said it expected to produce 675k to 725k ounces of gold and 53.5m - 59.5m of silver in 2021 as Covid restrictions, mine delays and partial shut downs hampered output.

The company reported a 12.1% fall in 2020 gold production to 769,618 ounces, at the upper end of revised estimates provided in October.

Diversified Gas & Oil said 2020 results were in line with expectations after it achieved record production and cut costs.

Annual production rose 18% to about 100 thousand barrels of oil equivalents a day (mboepd) in the year to the end of December from a year earlier. Operating cash costs fell 15% to $5.58 per barrel of oil equivalent.

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