London pre-open: FTSE to edge marginally higher in early trade



LONDON (ShareCast) - City sources predict the FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) will open up two points from yesterday's close of 6,339, after the FTSE soared 0.71 per cent, or 45 points on Tuesday.

This follows that main US equity benchmarks ending mixed yesterday evening after a day of ups and downs in economic and corporate data.

US consumer confidence fell in January to its lowest level in over a year, according to the Conference Board Tuesday. The index dropped to 58.6, down from a reading of 66.7 in December, mirroring higher Social Security taxes that have left Americans with less disposable income.

On a brighter note, house prices in areas of the US most affected by the financial crisis grew faster than those in the rest of the country over the past year, according to the Financial Times.

Today's UK economic announcements include, consumer credit, mortgage approvals, and trends in lending. Looking abroad, the agenda includes the US FOMC interest rate, US advance GDP, the EU economic sentiment indicator, and the German PMI retail figures.

In UK company news, mining group Antofagasta (Other OTC: ANFGY - news) on Wednesday posted strong production results for the fourth quarter of last year. The FTSE 100 organisation said group copper output increased 7.8% to 193,800 tonnes quarter-on-quarter, driven by production at Los Pelambres and Esperanza.

Polymetal said gold production had topped expectations in 2012, but warned there was a moderate chance it would miss this year's target. Its full year production results showed total gold equivalent production of 1,063 Koz, up 31% compared to 2011 and exceeding the original guidance of 1.0m oz by 6.0%.

John Menzies (LSE: MNZS.L - news) has named Paula Bell as its new Group Finance Director, who joins the aviation and distribution group from engineering consultancy Ricardo. She will join after agreeing a mutually acceptable departure date with her current employer, the company said.

Featured Content