(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are called to open lower on Wednesday, as Asia heads down and after a mixed performance on Wall Street.

In early corporate news, Royal Mail owner IDS has agreed to a GBP3.5 billion takeover bid from a Daniel Kretinsky-led group.

Here is what you need to know at the London market open:

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MARKETS

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FTSE 100: called down 0.1% at 8,242.90

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Hang Seng: down 1.4% at 18,555.32

Nikkei 225: closed down 0.8% at 38,556.87

S&P/ASX 200: closed down 1.3% at 7,665.60

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DJIA: closed down 216.73 points, 0.6%, at 38,852.86

S&P 500: closed up marginally at 5,306.04

Nasdaq Composite: closed up 0.6% at 17,019.88

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EUR: down at USD1.0853 (USD1.0875)

GBP: down at USD1.2761 (USD1.2780)

USD: up at JPY157.10 (JPY156.94)

GOLD: down at USD2,351.80 per ounce (USD2,359.03)

OIL (Brent): up at USD84.18 a barrel (USD83.56)

(changes since previous London equities close)

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ECONOMICS

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Wednesday's key economic events still to come:

10:00 CEST eurozone money supply

14:00 CEST Germany CPI

10:00 CEST Italy consumer confidence

09:00 CEST Spain retail sales

10:00 CEST Switzerland economic sentiment index

08:55 EDT US Redbook index

10:00 EDT US Richmond Fed manufacturing index

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Germany and France plan to boost European defence, security and the economy, according to statements that came at the close of a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and government consultations near Berlin. Amid an altered security situation in Europe, France and Germany plan to strengthen European defence capabilities. "The EU must become a true geopolitical player and guarantor of security that can respond to today's security challenges and strengthen the international order," the Franco-German Defence & Security Council said on Tuesday.

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BROKER RATING CHANGES

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Berenberg cuts Mobico Group to 'hold' (buy) - price target 66 (100) pence

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Berenberg raises On The Beach to 'buy' (hold) - price target 180 pence

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COMPANIES - FTSE 100

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Last week, Anglo American rejected a third takeover proposal from BHP Group Ltd but gave the Melbourne-based miner another seven days to formalise a bid. On Wednesday, BHP said: "BHP welcomed the extension as it provided the opportunity to engage with Anglo American about its concerns regarding BHP's proposal. Since the extension to the deadline, BHP has continued to work extensively to address those matters. This has included several engagements with Anglo American and its advisers." BHP said it has now addressed Anglo American's concerns re proposed transaction structure and it is now confident that the measures will provide a viable pathway to resolve the matters raised. It added that Anglo Platinum and Kumba Iron will continue to be JSE-listed.

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Ocado Group's stint in the FTSE 100 is set to end, with another technology firm Darktrace PLC set to replace it in the top flight, according to indicative index changes by FTSE Russell on Tuesday. Final index review findings are released on June 5, using data from a day earlier. Based on closing on data as of Friday, grocer and warehouse technology firm Ocado is set for the FTSE 100 chop, with wealth manager St James's Place also set for relegation. Shares in Ocado have plunged 46% so far this year, while St James's Place has shrunk 28%. Darktrace, which has surged 60% this year, is set for a promotion to the blue-chip index. Alongside it, housebuilder Vistry is also favourite to go up, with its stock rising 37% year-to-date.

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COMPANIES - FTSE 250

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International Distributions Services has agreed to a cash takeover offer from Daniel Kretinsky-led EP Corporate Group and J&T. EP Corporate Group and J&T are to pay 360p cash for IDS shares, plus a final dividend and 8p special dividend. IDS said it final dividend is 2p, so the total value of the offer is 370p per share. This values IDS at GBP3.57 billion. "IDS has the potential to become a leading international logistics player. Both the IDS board and EP are acutely aware of their responsibilities to IDS and particularly to the unique heritage of Royal Mail and its obligations as the designated Universal Service Provider of postal services in the UK," said IDS Chair Keith Williams. "The IDS board believes that the offer from EP is fair and reasonable given that there are uncertainties ahead and allows investors to realise value at a significant premium."

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Pets at Home announced that pretax profit was GBP105.7 million in the year ended March 28, down from GBP122.5 million a year earlier. The company explained that this was in part due to a GBP12.4 million increase in non-underlying costs. Revenue increased to GBP1.48 billion from GBP1.40 billion. Pets At Home left its final dividend of 8.30 pence per share unchanged annually. Looking ahead, Pets at Home left its pretax profit guidance for financial 2025 unchanged, despite of a "subdued" trading environment. "FY24 has been a pivotal year for the business, having delivered some key building blocks of our platform for long term growth. I am proud of the progress we have made in the year; we relaunched our brand, opened our new DC, built our new digital platform, made progress in our sustainability agenda, and enhanced our physical estate. The business has come together brilliantly to navigate any challenges faced this year, and we have delivered some key milestones of our strategy," said CEO Lyssa McGowan.

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OTHER COMPANIES

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Averon Park said it will buy Foresight Sustainable Forestry Co for GBP167 million. Foresight shares are valued at 97 pence each, a 33% premium to the closing price of 73.0p each on Tuesday. Foresight's Chair Richard Davidson said: "The offer from Arizona Bidco is at a price that represents a significant premium to the volume weighted average price for the past three months. We believe this offer represents good value for shareholders, and therefore we are recommending it. The structure of the deal means investors can continue to participate in the compelling investment fundamentals presented by the forestry and carbon credit industries through a private structure."

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By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

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