Stocks in the U.K. having initially opened nearly unchanged on Thursday soon headed easier as sentiment was dented by weak Chinese export data and French industrial production that missed expectations. Investors are now looking ahead to the Bank of England monthly meeting with rate decision due at noon. No changes are expected with the key lending rate remaining at a record low 0.5% and no change to the £375bln asset purchase programme.
Among movers in London were mining stocks which declined on the weaker Chinese data, on the upside Burberry Group was up nearly 2% after it reported a 12% increase in same store sales in the first quarter and Associated British Foods where the company said its Primark brand is expected to help offset weakness from lower sugar prices and a stronger Pound.
Early indications are pointing to a weaker opening on Wall Street.