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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (December 05, 2013)

December 5, 2013, Thursday, 11:06 GMT | 06:06 EST | 15:36 IST | 18:06 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning following the weaker performances overnight on Wall Street and in Asia as investors look ahead to statements from the Bank of England and European Central Bank. Today's Autumn Statement from the Chancellor which is due to be delivered in the House of Commons at 11.15am will also be in focus for his update on the UK. The economic agenda takes in the US at lunchtime with the release of the latest weekly jobless claims and the preliminary reading of GDP data. Commodity prices are flat to lower and on the foreign exchanges, both the pound and euro are up against the dollar although the key currencies are trading in narrow bands ahead of the monetary banking authorities statements.

Company Announcements

Vodafone VZW Transaction Update. The company has announced that it has received the necessary approval from the US Federal Communications Commission in relation to its disposal of its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless to Verizon. It added that the transactions and return of value remain subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of both Vodafone's and Verizon's shareholders. These are expected to complete in Q1 2014.

DS Smith Half Year Results from the recycled packaging company see adjusted operating profit up 31% at GBP160.2m and PBT growth of 52% to GBP85m on revenue ahead 25% at GBP2.08bn. The figures include a 6 month contribution following the acquisition of SCA Packaging on 1 July 2012. The dividend is raised 28% to 3.2p with it noting that it was pleased with trading in the year to date. It added that it continues to expect good progress over the remainder of the year, despite ongoing challenging market conditions.

AG Barr IMS from the soft drinks company reports that revenue in the 18 weeks to 1 December rose by 8% with volumes ahead 6.4% compared to the same period a year ago. Year to date revenue has grown 6.7% and volumes by 5.1%. It added that the soft drinks market remains highly competitive as it enters the important Christmas trading period and remains confident of delivering its full year performance expectations despite tough year on year trading comparatives.