London pre-open: Slight rebound expected after sell-off



LONDON (ShareCast) - Markets are expected to rebound slightly on Thursday morning as they attempt to claw back some of the heavy losses from the day before, after Eurozone concerns outweighed any Obama-related optimism and resulted in a sell-off across global benchmark indices.

City sources expect the FTSE 100 (FTSE Index: EO100.FGI - news) to open at around 5,820, up 28 points from Wednesday's close of 5,792.

However, sentiment is still likely to be fragile this morning after the European Commission cut its forecasts for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the Eurozone this year to 0.1% from 1% before.

Last night, 153 policymakers in Greece voted in favour of the country's proposed austerity measures, just above the 151 votes needed. "The vote came at a political cost, with the vote taking place against a backdrop of tear gas and unrest in the capital and prompted 18 policymakers to abstain from voting," explains market analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets.

Next (Berlin: NXG.BE - news) on Athen´s agenda will be the parliamentary vote on next year's budget on Sunday, which will unlock the next round of the EU bailout if passed.

The focus of today's session will likely be on the Bank of England and European Central Bank policy decisions scheduled for this afternoon.

IAG studying Vueling takeover

International Consolidated Airlines Group, otherwise known as IAG, is thinking about making an offer to take over Spanish airline Vueling, buying up the remaining stake that it does not already own.

IAG, the owner of British Airways (Other OTC: BABAF.PK - news) which already runs the loss-making Iberia (Madrid: IBLA.MC - news) and Iberia Express in Spain, said it is considering making an offer for 100% of the share capital of Vueling.

Publishing and exhibitions firm Reed Elsevier (Berlin: RDEB.BE - news) said it remains on track to deliver underlying revenue and profit growth in line with expectations for the year as it posted underlying revenue growth 4% for the first nine months.

The Anglo-Dutch publisher, which owns the LexisNexis database and the Gray's Anatomy textbook, said all five of its business areas contributed to underlying growth.
Softer market conditions in Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURUSD - news) and an increase in fixed costs put a dent in half year profits at sweeteners firm Tate & Lyle (Dusseldorf: 408414.DU - news) .

Reported profit before tax in the six months to September 30th tumbled to £172m from £241m the year before, a 28% fall on a constant currency (CC) basis. Adjusted profit before tax, however, which strips out one-off items, rose 2% on a CC basis to £179m from £177m at the halfway point of the previous year.

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