• UK stock market morning note (September 30, 2015)

    The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning following the performances on Wall Street and in Asia as we come to the end of Q3. Overnight we had domestic economic data from GfK showing that the monthly consumer confidence reading dipped in September from +7 to +3 which was below forecast due to back-to-school blues. The economic diary today also sees the release of domestic current account data and the final GDP reading for Q2 which is expected to remain unchanged, followed in the US with the ADP jobs report and at 8.00pm UK time a speech from the US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Commodity prices are flat to firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is slightly higher against both the dollar and the euro but all the major currencies are within narrow trading ranges ahead of these data releases and Yellen's speech.

    Company Announcements

    J Sainsbury

    Q2 Trading Statement for the 16 weeks to 26 September 2015 shows total retail sales up 0.3% (excl fuel) and down 1.8% incl fuel with lfl retail sales down 1.1% excl fuel and 3.3% lower incl fuel. It noted that year to date it had traded well with both sales and cost savings ahead of expectations adding that should current market trends continue, it expected full year underlying PBT to be modestly ahead of published consensus.

    Rio Tinto

    It has agreed the sale of its 40% interest in the Bengalla coal JV in Australia to New Hope Corporation Limited for $606m. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2016 with the company noting that it will have announced or completed $4.5bn of divestments since January 2013 with this latest transaction.

    Entertainment One

    It has entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 70% of the entire issued share capital of Astley Baker Davies, the BAFTA award winning UK based creator and producer of Peppa Pig, that jointly holds the ownership rights to Peppa Pig with eOne. The company intends to fund the deal and associated expenses through the net proceeds of a fully underwritten 4 for 9 rights issue to raise 193.6m (net of expenses) at 153p. eOne separately confirmed that it anticipates its earnings performance in H1 to be in line with management's expectations.

    Contributed by SVS Securities
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