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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (August 15, 2014)

August 15, 2014, Friday, 10:42 GMT | 05:42 EST | 14:12 IST | 16:42 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open slightly higher this morning following the firmer overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia with attention focusing once more on global economic growth and the potential monetary policy impacts from the likes of the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve. The economic diary today sees the release of the second estimate of domestic GDP for Q2 followed at lunchtime in  the US with producer prices data and later in the session the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. Commodity prices are flat to firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is slightly higher against the dollar and euro but within narrow trading ranges ahead of these data releases. It is a quieter finish to the week for major corporate news.


Company Announcements

BHP Billiton

It has put out a brief portfolio holding announcement noting that since April it has been studying its structural options believing that a portfolio focused on its major iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum assets with potash as a potential fifth pillar will make the company simpler and more productive. A demerger of a selection of assets is its preferred option and it expects to consider this and other matters when it reconvenes a Board meeting next week. It added that if any material decisions are made, they will be announced immediately.

Balfour Beatty

It has considered Carillion's announcement made yesterday noting that it remains unchanged from the proposal it rejected on 11 August 2014. Accordingly, Balfour has reaffirmed its rejection of the proposal having considered the potential for synergies, cost and execution risks, a reduced exposure to a UK construction recovery, risk of revenue and cost leakage and the impact of terminating the Parsons Brinckerhoff sales process. It added that it also considered the opportunities represented by pursuing its independent strategy.