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FTSE 100 set for positive start amid high hopes for Marks & Spencer and Snoop Dogg’s cannabis firm

·2-min read
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

The FTSE 100 was set to get the week off to a positive start today as shares including Marks & Spencer’s looked like they could have a healthy week.

Having endured a rocky previous week marked by a constant battle between bulls and bears testing each other’s mettle in the argument over the future of inflation, the blue chip index looked likely to open up around 14 points at 7033 according to trading on the IG platform.

Asian markets had similar sized gains this morning, with the Nikkei in Japan up 0.3% and China’s CSI 300 up 0.1%.

Bitcoin, whose tumbles last week some have connected to the falls in the stock market, is down 5% over the past 24 hours trading at $35,118.14.

M&S, a popular stock among retail investors, has profit figures out on Wednesday and brokers at Berenberg are predicting they will show decent progress from management led by chief executive Steve Rowe in finally getting the group in shape for the modern retail environment.

The website finally seems to be up to scratch and Rowe has started introducing other brands to its fashion ranges. Berenberg recons its stake in Ocado is worth 60p a share - a fact not reflected in its 152p share price.

Rumours of M&S’s revival have proved false in the past, though, so investors are advised to proceed with caution before the results later this week.

AJ Bell, the share trading platform, and retailer Pepco also both deliver earnings figures this week.

For today, markets will also hinge on the words of Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, who will be joined by outgoing chief economist Andy Haldane and deputy governor Sir Jon Culiffe being grilled by MPs on the economy.

Inflation and the prospect for interest rate rises will be centre stage as markets seek new clues on the Bank’s thinking at a time of rising prices and labour shortages triggering wage rises in some parts of the economy.

MPs will be grilling them closely on if and when voters face higher rates, with many economists beginning to worry the economy may be overheating.

Cunliffe could also be asked about former Prime Minister David Cameron’s lobbying of him in the Greensill scandal. Cunliffe was among public officials Cameron emailed and texted for Greensill to get access to the Covid emergency lending scheme. Cunliffe turned him down.

Smallcap stockwatchers could move in on Snoop Dogg-backed Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, which floated last week at 5p a share. After an initial jump, they ended the week at 4.88p and brokers are expected to give them a strong push to clients this week to try and get the momentum back up again. The company makes pain medicine using some of the active ingredients in marijuana.

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