London pre-open: Stocks seen up as investors mull retail sales

Pre-open Market Report
06:33, 23rd July 2021

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Friday as investors mull the latest UK retail sales data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 18 points higher at 6,986.

Data released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed retail sales rose between May and June, helped along by the Euros. Sales were up 0.5%, coming in a touch above consensus expectations for 0.4% growth.

Compared with their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels, sales were 9.5% higher.

ONS director of Economic Statistics Darren Morgan said: "June's retail sales have picked up again following the dip seen last month, with the main driver coming from food and drink sales, boosted by football fans across Britain enjoying the Euros.

"Although not quite back to their pre-pandemic level, fuel sales rose again this month, as people increased the amount they travel so are spending more at the pump."

In corporate news, telecoms operator Vodafone reported a rise in first-quarter revenue as European and African services returned to growth.

The company said total revenue grew 5.7% to €11.1bn with Europe mobile churn 1.6 percentage points lower than the same period last year, although commercial activity had yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Elsewhere, Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods said full-year adjusted pre-tax profit was set to be at the top end of its expectations after "a very encouraging start to the year".

The company said group sales in the first quarter were up 6.3% versus two years ago, at the top end of its expectations, with branded sales 9.3% higher.

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