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11 Feb 2021 | 07:37

London pre-open: Stocks seen muted as investors eye jobless claims

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set for a muted open on Thursday as investors await fresh catalysts.

The FTSE 100 was called to open just four points lower at 6,520.

CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: "Trading in Asia was quiet as several countries, including China, are celebrating public holidays. Stocks in Hong Kong closed up 0.45%. A muted start is anticipated for Europe, indices are set to open a touch lower."

Investors will be eyeing the release of the latest US initial jobless claims. Madden said the reading is expected to be 757,000, which would be a fall from the previous level of 779,000 and the lowest reading in nine weeks.

"The continuing claims level is predicted to be 4.49 million, down from 4.59 million," he said. "Recently, there has been mixed jobs data from the US. Last week, the ADP employment reading hammered the consensus estimate and there was an upward revision to the previous reading too."

In corporate news, Royal Mail said it expected full-year group adjusted profit to be "well in excess" of £500m after a strong rise in parcel revenues in Christmas period.

The company forecast 2020-21 revenue significantly beyond the top end of the £380m - £580m range guided in November after third quarter parcel revenues grew 43.3% to £3.8bn.

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