City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open 27 points higher than yesterday's close of 6,591.55.
Stocks to watch
Barclays reported a 32% fall in 2013 adjusted pre-tax profit of £5.16bn reflecting a fall in income and costs of restructuring. The company incurred £49m of costs to achieve its so-called Transform strategy in revamping the lender. Adjusted income fell 4% to £28.15bn due to a reduction of £1.04bn in the Investment Bank and £480m in the Head Office.
Commodities trader and mining group Glencore Xstrata increased production of most of its major commodity classes in 2013.The firm, which was formed through the merger of Glencore and Xstrata in May 2013, said that total own sourced copper output rose 26% to 1.5m tonnes last year, driven by strong growth in Africa, its Collahuasi joint venture with Anglo American in Chile.
Vodafone has partnered up with money transfer and payment services company MoneyGram to launch a service that will enable consumers to transfer funds directly from around 200 countries to users of its M-Pesa service. The service will be launched in key markets during the second quarter of 2014, with additional roll-out planned throughout the remainder of the year.
Babcock International said it continues to experience positive market conditions across its business units in the UK and overseas and is confident of further strong progress this year, in line with its expectations. The engineering support services company saw high activity levels in all divisions during the third quarter, helped by the improving economic climate.
In the Press
A strong rebound in furniture sales on the back of the recovery in the housing market fuelled the strongest monthly retail sales growth since March 2010. High Street retailers will take some relief from better-than-expected sales figures for January that rose 3.9% according to the British Retail Consortium/KPMG sales monitor. Furniture was the top-performing category, achieving its best growth since April 2006, as shoppers responded enthusiastically to sales and promotions for new ranges. But the contrast was in non-food, which saw low levels of growth in the last quarter. - Daily Mail
The squeeze on household finances since the financial crisis has been so severe that the number of mortgage borrowers with less than 5% of their pay left at the end of the month has nearly doubled in the past seven years, despite cuts in interest rates to an historical low. The finding, disclosed by the Resolution Foundation in its annual State of Living Standards report, underlined the scale of the problem in Britain as wages failed to keep pace with inflation. - The Times
Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive of Vodafone, has sounded a warning to American mobile operators eyeing the European market, telling them that they are unlikely to do a better job than the current players. The Italian-born executive said on Monday that there was not much that European operators could be taught, and that the only reason Europe lagged behind America in rolling out 4G-services was because of complicated regulations. - Daily Telegraph
After a slow start, US markets finished with small gains on Monday as investors speculated about Janet Yellen's upcoming testimony to Congress the following day.
Markets will be eager to gauge the thoughts of the new Federal Reserve Chair on the staged withdrawal of stimulus after she took over from former central bank head Ben Bernanke this month.
Despite earlier losses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished just 0.05% higher, while the S&P 500
gained 0.16%. The Nasdaq, however, recorded bigger gains of 0.54% after a strong performance from tech giant Apple.