U.K. stocks waver as investors nervously wait for services PMI
By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
Tesco rises after resuming dividends
U.K. stocks traded in tight ranges Wednesday morning, as investors waited for the last release in the September PMI trilogy after the first two reports hugely disappointed and added to concerns about slowing growth.
The FTSE 100 index was up 0.1% at 7,475.79, but was swinging between small gains and losses.
Meanwhile, the pound rose to $1.3248 from $1.3239 late Tuesday in New York. Sterling has been hit hard in recent days, falling to a three-week low against the dollar on Tuesday after the construction purchasing managers' index missed forecast by a wide mark and indicated the sector is contracting.
The data followed the manufacturing PMI on Monday that also missed forecasts. On Wednesday, the last of the U.K. September PMI releases is due at 9:30 a.m., with the services figure forecast to come in at 53.2, unchanged from August.
"Expectations are set for a steady reading but we believe that there is scope for a surprise to the upside today: stronger retail sales figures and higher consumer confidence levels could see the pound correcting higher and moving towards its $1.3350 resistance level," said Konstantinos Anthis, researcher at ADS Securities, in a note.
Stock movers: Shares of Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) (TSCO.LN) climbed 1.6% after the supermarkets chain -- the U.K.'s biggest -- said it'll resume dividends (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesco-resumes-dividends-as-pretax-profit-jumps-2017-10-04) after pretax profit rose eightfold in the 26 weeks to Aug. 26.