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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (August 21, 2014)

August 21, 2014, Thursday, 08:53 GMT | 03:53 EST | 13:23 IST | 15:53 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning although gains may be limited following the overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia with the flash HSBC Chinese manufacturing PMI coming in below forecast at 50.3, just above the key 50 level expansion mark. The economic diary today also sees the release of domestic retail sales and  public sector finances data which will be followed in the US at lunchtime with the latest weekly jobless claims and the Philly Fed manufacturing index later in the session. Commodity prices are weaker and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is again higher against the pound, euro and yen after the release of FOMC minutes last night showing that it may look to raise interest rates sooner than expected if US growth continues together with the worse than expected Chinese PMI data.


Company Announcements

Costain

Half Year Results from the engineering solutions provider see revenue ahead at GBP529.1m on adjusted PBT up 8% at GBP9.1m. There is an interim dividend of 3.25p on an enlarged capital base following its fundraise completed in March 2014. It had a net cash balance of GBP133.8m and a record forward order book up 10% at GBP3.2bn. It secured over GBP700m of new contracts and extensions in the period with over GBP950m of revenue secured for FY2014 by the end of June 2014. It added that the fundraise is enabling it to take advantage of a growing number of opportunities to accelerate its development and remains on course to deliver full year results in line with the Board's expectations.