London stocks were steady in early trade on Tuesday, with investors reluctant to make any big bets either way ahead of the release of key UK inflation data.
At 0835 GMT, the FTSE 100 was flat at 7,178.84, while the pound was up 0.2% against the dollar at 1.3868 and down 0.1% versus the euro at 1.1245. Overnight, Wall Street extended the bounce that began on Friday after Donald Trump confirmed his 10-year infrastructure plan.
The retail price index, producer price index and consumer price index are all due at 0930 GMT.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: “After Monday's largely unchallenged rebound, the markets face a test of their mettle this Tuesday with the release of the latest UK inflation reading.
“Analyst are expecting January's UK CPI figure to come in at 2.9%, a smidge down from December's 3.0%. If accurate, it is going to be interesting to see how investors react to such a minor dip, namely whether or not it sparks another rapid shift lower. Though the month-on-month decline would mean inflation is moving in the right direction for those seeking to delay a Bank of England rate hike, 2.9% is still very (very) high, and arguably wouldn't give the hawks at the central bank any reason to re-think their current positions.”
In corporate news, tour operator Tui was the standout gainer as it jetted off to a strong start for its financial year with sales and underlying earnings both much improved on last year.
BHP Billiton was in the black after saying it would book a $1.8bn charge due to cuts in the US corporate tax rate, but that the tax reform will have a positive impact on the group's US attributable profits in the longer term.
British Land edged higher as Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui signed a 20-year lease on 161,000 square ft at the 100 Liverpool Street redevelopment at Broadgate.
Computacenter slipped as it posted the results of its tender offer, saying that just under 44.1m ordinary shares were validly tendered, with the strike price determined to be 1,170p.
Smiths Group was on the up as Barclays initiated coverage of the stock at 'overweight', while Dixons Carphone was lifted by an upgrade at Cenkos.
Oil giant BP edged down after a downgrade to 'equalweight' by Morgan Stanley, while Imperial Brands was hit by a downgrade to 'neutral' at Piper Jaffray.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,178.84 0.02%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,386.73 0.04%
techMARK (TASX) 3,251.40 -0.13%
FTSE 100 – Risers
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 1,625.50p 1.94%
Old Mutual (OML) 236.00p 1.59%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,547.50p 1.58%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 575.80p 1.48%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,657.40p 0.91%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,811.00p 0.87%
Glencore (GLEN) 369.80p 0.85%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,626.00p 0.81%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 442.57p 0.63%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 383.90p 0.58%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 281.00p -1.06%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 2,640.00p -0.81%
CRH (CRH) 2,412.00p -0.66%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,179.00p -0.56%
BT Group (BT.A) 229.30p -0.48%
BP (BP.) 476.60p -0.46%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,618.00p -0.46%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,838.00p -0.45%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,379.00p -0.36%
Unilever (ULVR) 3,815.50p -0.35%
FTSE 250 – Risers
AA (AA.) 120.50p 2.90%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 530.00p 2.51%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 429.60p 2.09%
Renewi (RWI) 95.58p 2.01%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 194.45p 1.70%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 800.40p 1.57%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 260.00p 1.56%
Hill & Smith Holdings (HILS) 1,181.00p 1.20%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 22.40p 1.17%
Card Factory (CARD) 192.10p 1.16%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Acacia Mining (ACA) 157.80p -4.51%
Capita (CPI) 186.75p -2.30%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,372.00p -2.00%
RDI Reit (RDI) 34.85p -1.69%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 106.70p -1.66%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 608.00p -1.38%
CYBG (CYBG) 303.60p -1.17%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 186.80p -1.16%
Aldermore Group (ALD) 308.00p -1.09%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 295.00p -1.01%