LONDON MARKET EARLY CALL: Lower call as investors track Ukraine crisis

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London are seen opening slightly lower on Monday tracking a ...

Alliance News 21 March, 2022 | 7:00AM
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(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London are seen opening slightly lower on Monday tracking a fall in Asian equity markets, as investors continue to monitor the conflict in Ukraine.

IG futures indicate the FTSE 100 index is to open 8.23 points lower at 7,396.50. The index closed up 19.39 points, or 0.3%, at 7,404.73 on Friday.

Ukraine has rejected an ultimatum to surrender the besieged port city of Mariupol to Russian forces, its deputy prime minister told Ukrainian media Monday.

"There can be no talk of surrendering weapons. We have already informed the Russian side of this," Iryna Vereshchuk told Ukrainska Pravda newspaper.

"It's a deliberate manipulation and it's a real hostage situation," she added of the demand. Russia gave the city an ultimatum late Sunday, urging its defenders to surrender before 05:00 am on Monday.

Ukraine's rejection came as Russian bombs hit targets across the country overnight, killing at least six in Kyiv and allegedly damaging a chemical plant in the north of the country causing an "ammonia leakage".

In the US on Friday, Wall Street ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.8%, S&P 500 up 1.2%, and Nasdaq Composite up 2.1%.

In Asia on Monday, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.7%. Financial markets in Japan were closed to mark Vernal Equinox Day. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.2%.

"European markets look set to open lower, taking their cues from a quiet Asia market session which has seen Chinese markets slip back," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

China's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged on Monday, as expected. The one-year loan prime rate was held at 3.7%. The five-year rate also was unmoved at 4.6%, the People's Bank of China said. The loan prime rate is a lending reference rate set monthly by 18 banks.

The pound was quoted at USD1.3155 early Monday, down from USD1.3178 at the London equities close Friday.

The euro was priced at USD1.1045, lower against USD1.1061. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was quoted at JPY119.25 in London, up from JPY119.15.

Brent oil was trading at USD107.93 a barrel Monday morning, rising from USD107.51 a barrel late Friday. Gold stood at USD1,924.75 an ounce, lower against USD1,938.46.

Monday's UK corporate calendar has annual results from photobooth operator Photo-Me International PLC, while recruiter SThree posts a trading statement.

In addition, the latest FTSE Russell index review changes take effect on Monday, with Endeavour Mining and Howden Joinery Group promoted to the FTSE 100 replacing Polymetal International and Evraz.

Russia-focused Polymetal and Evraz, together with commercial real-estate investor Raven Property Group, will be removed from all FTSE Russell indices from Monday, due to insufficient trading liquidity following the imposition of sanctions against Russia.

The economic events calendar has producer price data from Germany at 0700 GMT.

The week picks up pace with UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak's spring statement and UK inflation data on Wednesday, and a deluge of flash PMIs on Thursday.

By Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

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