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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (April 03, 2014)

April 3, 2014, Thursday, 08:08 GMT | 03:08 EST | 11:38 IST | 14:08 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open slightly higher this morning following the performances from both Wall Street and Asia as investors look ahead to a raft of data releases. Overnight Chinese non-manufacturing PMI came in at 54.5 and the diary for the rest of today sees the publication of domestic services PMI figures followed by the US trade balance, the latest weekly jobless claims and US ISM non-manufacturing PMI numbers. Markets will also be waiting on the press conference from the European Central Bank (ECB) at lunchtime together with a speech later this afternoon by the ECB President, Mario Draghi. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is higher against both the euro and dollar ahead of these economic news announcements.

Company Announcements


It has announced that it is to open 150 new shops and create 1,400 new jobs across the UK over the next 12 months. The GBP100m spend is part of the company's plan to invest GBP1bn in 2014 in networks and services.


IMS reports that Q3 total revenue increased by 9.9% with a total sales value of GBP195.4m and lfl sales growth in the period to 29 March 2014 of 5%, reflecting the absence of snow disruption this year as well as ongoing investments. The latter includes continuing development in multi-channel, the further roll-out of its Dunelm At Home proposition, enhanced customer service training, ongoing TV advertising and an expanded spring catalogue. The gross margin has improved in the quarter by 100bps on the prior year and it anticipates that year on year margin growth will continue over the remainder of its financial year. It noted that it remains strongly cash generative, adding that it had delivered 'solid progress' and remains confident in the growth prospects for the business.