• UK stock market morning note (September 23, 2015)

    The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning following the performances on Wall Street and in Asia except Japan which is still shut for a public holiday with Asia impacted by overnight economic news out of China showing that the Caixin flash manufacturing PMI came in below forecast at 47 and lower than the August reading of 47.3, so well below the key 50 level expansion mark. The economic diary today also sees a speech this afternoon from the ECB President Mario Draghi. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is weaker against both the dollar and the euro ahead of Mario Draghi's speech.

    Company Announcements


    Ahead of its AGM the company reports that the year has started well and performance is in line with its expectations. Volume has grown mid-single digit but price increases have as expected been muted. For the balance of H1, it faces a tougher comparison against the phasing of shipments last year, particularly in US spirits and its H1 guidance for Diageo North America of an organic net sales decline of 2% is unchanged. Whilst noting currencies are weaker in emerging markets, it continues to believe that stronger volume growth in F16 will lead to an improved top line performance and that it can deliver a modest organic margin improvement. It added that its reported results will be impacted by adverse currency movements which at current rates will cut operating profit for F16 by 150m against last year.

    United Utilities

    Trading Update reports that current trading is in line with its expectations for H1. It noted that it is also in the process of paying compensation to those customers affected by its significant water quality incident over the summer in parts of Lancashire where it is still investigating the cause.

    BBA Aviation

    It has confirmed reports of the proposed acquisition of Landmark Aviation for $2.06bn which it notes would be a transformational and strategically compelling deal. The transaction will be funded through new debt facilities and a fully underwritten rights issue at 133p per new ordinary share to raise 748m (gross).

    Contributed by SVS Securities
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