LONDON (ShareCast) - City sources predict the FTSE 100 (FTSE Index: EO100.FGI - news) will open up 18 points from yesterday's close of 5,839, tracking US stocks higher, although trading is likely to be relatively thin ahead of the election result.
Although the result of the election is to be announced today, the exit polls for won't be published until well after London has shut up shop for the day.
Analysts have outlined both pros and cons for markets for a win by either candidates, with the most positive outcome being a clear winner and avoiding a drawn out election process.
UK economic announcements due out today include the BRC Sales Monitor, Industrial Production and Manufacturing Production. Germany is set for a busy day, with factory orders and both the PMI Composite and PMI Services due out early on. In the EU, the Producer Price Index is expected at 10:00.
In company news, UK like-for-like sales were flat year-on-year in the fiscal second quarter at High Street (BSE: HIGHSTREE.BO - news) bellwether Marks & Spencer (Dusseldorf: MA6.DU - news) (M&S), as General Merchandise sales recovered. Total (Brussels: FP.BR - news) revenue in the three months to September 29th was up 2.5% on a year earlier, driven by a strong performance from food sales and a handy contribution from the group's international stores, which saw sales rise 6.1%.
Chip designer ARM is leading a consortium which is to acquire the patent portfolio of MIPS Technologies (NasdaqGS: MIPS - news) , the US semiconductor design company, in order to reduce the risk of expensive patent infringement suits in the chip design industry. The MIPS patent portfolio includes 580 patents and patent applications covering microprocessor design, system-on-chip design and other related technology fields.
FTSE 100 oilfield services giant Petrofac (Berlin: P2F.BE - news) has entered into a 'strategic alliance' with AIM-listed oil and gas group Bowleven (LSE: BLVN.L - news) to develop the latter's Etinde Permit, offshore Cameroon, which will see Petrofac invest up to half a billion dollars. Petrofac will provide engineering capability to Euroil, a subsidiary of Bowleven, to support the delivery of a Field Development Plan (FDP) for the proposed first phase of development, the companies announced on Tuesday.