London shares were expected to fall at the open on Tuesday after strong gains in the previous session as investors ponder the latest UK jobs data.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 18 points lower at 7,593.
Figures released earlier by the Office of National Statistics showed there were 29.5 million salaried employees in the UK in December, up 184,000 from the revised November figure and 409,000 more than in February 2020.
Analysts were looking for an increase closer to 125,000.
The September-November unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 4.1%, slightly below the consensus of 4.2%. The rate is now only 0.1 percentage point higher than before the pandemic. Vacancies, however, remained high, hitting a new October-December record of 1,247,000.
In corporate news, landscaping specialist Marshals raised its full-year guidance after a strong last quarter of the prior year that contributed to a 26% increase in annual revenue.
The company, which supplies the domestic and commercial hardscape landscaping markets, said it expects 2021 trading to be “slightly ahead of its previous view”, adding that its order intake were 13% higher than last year, excluding the impact of price increases.
Online betting and gaming company 888 Assets said full-year revenue was up year-over-year despite falling in the final quarter of 2021.
888 Holdings said intercompany revenue for the full year rose 15% to $934.0 million and intercompany revenue was 8% firmer at $38.0 million, leading to an increase 14% of overall revenue to $972.0 million.
However, for the fourth quarter, total revenue fell 16% to $214.0 million, largely reflecting a strong comparative period, as well as the impact of regulatory and compliance changes, including the exit from the group. From the Netherlands.