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London: Stocks gain as trading resumes after bank holiday

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Eurozone inflation data is in focus at 1000 BST with analysts expecting an improvement in May. The consumer price index is forecast to drop 0.1% year-on-year in May, compared to 0.2% in April.

The European Central Bank, which is targeting inflation of just below 2%, in March announced a raft of stimulus measures to mend price stability. The ECB will make it latest policy decision on Thursday and is expected to keep policy unchanged.

Meanwhile, German retail sales rose 2.3% in April compared to a year ago, beating estimates for a 1.7% increase, according to Destatis. The data for March was revised down to a decline of 0.6%.

On the month retail sales dropped 0.9% in April, missing forecasts for a 0.9% rise and following a downwardly revised 1.4% fall.

Still to come, US personal consumption expenditure figures at 1330 BST, the US S&P Cast/Shiller home price index at 1400 BST, the Chicago purchasing managers’ index (PMI) at 1445 BST, US consumer confidence index at 1500 BST and the Dallas Fed manufacturing PMI at 1530 BST.

In commodities, oil prices fell as international oil markets were hit by a rise in Middle Eastern crude exports, fuelling concerns about the global supply glut.

At 0916 BST Brent crude dipped 0.77% to $49.38 (£33.82) per barrel and West Texas Intermediate slid 0.48% to $49.37 (£33.81) per barrel.

In company news, IG Group shares gained after the spreadbetting firm reported solid trading in the fourth quarter and said earnings for the year are set to be slightly ahead of expectations.

Property company St Modwen advanced as it said the trading for the year had started well as it continued to extract both short and long-term value-generating opportunities from its land bank through asset management activities, remediation, and success in planning and development.

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Paul

The author Paul