• UK stock market morning note (September 24, 2015)

    The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning following the overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia which saw the Japanese market open again after the public holiday. The economic diary today focuses on the US with the release of durable goods orders data and the latest US weekly jobless claims followed by a speech from the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at 10.00pm UK time. Commodity prices are firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly weaker against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges ahead of these US data releases and Yellen's speech.

    Company Announcements


    It has announced a placing via an accelerated book build process to raise 50m to fund the cash consideration part of the 99p Stores acquisition. It also provided an update on current trading with sales in the 14 weeks ending 20 September 2015 ahead 6.6% on a constant currency basis and on an actual currency basis were up 5.9% to 303.2m. It remained confident in the outlook for the full year to March 2016 and expects PBT for the core business (before underlying charges and 99p Stores) to be in line with market consensus. However, it reaffirmed that it does expect profits to be phased towards H2 of the current financial year due to tougher comparables, euro impact and higher pre-opening costs, adding that it anticipates PBT for H1 to be lower than in H1 2015.

    Thomas Cook

    Pre-Close Trading Update reports that with its Summer 2015 holiday programme now almost fully sold, trading has progressed well, all markets are performing in line with expectations, Winter trading 2015/16 has started positively and demand for its differentiated holidays particularly its own brand hotels has continued to grow. It also noted that it continues to develop its strategic relationship with Fosun. It added that the underlying business has continued to develop in line with expectations, despite the impact of disruption in certain destinations and significant forex headwinds, as previously indicated. However, it expects results for the current financial year to be in line with its expectations.

    Contributed by SVS Securities
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