(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are set to open higher on Monday, replicating the decent start to the week seen in Asian equities.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 to open 19.6 points higher, 0.2% at 6,439.86 on Monday. The index of London large-caps ended down 18.39 points, 0.2%, at 8,420.26 on Friday.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2707 early Monday in London, climbing from USD1.2696 at the time of the local equities close on Friday. The euro stood at USD1.0881, up from USD1.0866. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY155.69, up from JPY155.53

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.7% in late dealings. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney also traded 0.7% higher shortly before the closing bell. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.5% in afternoon dealings, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 0.4%.

China's central bank left key interest rates unchanged at its May meeting, as expected.

The People's Bank of China left the one-year loan prime rate - which serves as the benchmark for corporate loans - unchanged at 3.45%. The five-year LPR - which is used to price mortgages - was left at 3.95%.

It had been cut from 4.20% in February, in an effort to stimulate the country's flagging housing market.

Pantheon Macroeconomics analyst Kelvin Lam commented: "Even without the reduction in LPR in May, the real economy appears to be supported by looser credit conditions. According to the latest PBoC monetary policy report for Q1, average mortgage rate was 3.69%, down 0.45 percentage points a year ago, while business lending rate was 3.73%, down 0.22pp from last year. But the question is whether this is enough to reboot domestic demand. April's credit data suggest slightly weaker demand conditions, with long-term business loans falling marginally on an annual basis, while long-term household loans saw net repayment in the month. Lowering rates, however, would have limited impact on the property sector if the core issues with developers' funding and elevated clearance rates remain unresolved."

A top Chinese economic official said Friday the state could buy up commercial real estate in a bid to boost the country's ailing housing market, currently battling an unprecedented debt crisis.

Property and construction accounts for more than a quarter of gross domestic product, but the sector has been under unprecedented strain since 2020, when authorities tightened developers' access to credit in a bid to reduce mounting debt.

And in a bid to boost the ailing market and ensure millions of unused homes go to those in need of housing, Beijing's State Council met Friday, state news agency Xinhua said.

"Great efforts should be made to promote the handling of commercial housing projects classified as under construction that have been sold and are facing difficulties to deliver," Vice Premier He Lifeng told the meeting, according to state media.

In early company news, Dublin-based airline Ryanair said pretax profit jumped 35% to EUR2.13 billion in the financial year ended March 31 from EUR1.57 billion a year prior.

Revenue climbed 25% to EUR13.44 billion from EUR10.78 billion, partially helped by an early Easter.

Looking ahead, the company expects traffic growth of around 8% to between 198 million and 200 million passengers for financial 2025, from EUR183.7 million in the just ended financial year.

In New York on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.3%, the S&P 500 added 0.1%, though the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.1%.

Gold was quoted at USD2,448.16 an ounce early Monday, rising from USD2,407.63 late Friday. Brent oil was quoted at USD84.26 a barrel, rising from USD83.61.

Monday's economic calendar has a German producer price index reading at 0700 BST.

The local corporate calendar has annual results from Kainos Group, an IT services provider.

By Eric Cunha, Alliance News news editor

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