Reports » UK
UK stock market morning note (December 06, 2013)
The FTSE 100 is called to open flat to slightly higher this morning with investors looking ahead to the release of the US non-farm payrolls data at lunchtime for possible clues on the future timing of the US Federal Reserve 'tapering' of its bond buying programme. This will be followed later in the session with the University of Michigan preliminary reading of consumer sentiment. Commodity prices are firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is slightly lower against both the dollar and the euro although the major currencies are trading in narrow ranges ahead of the US jobs data.
AstraZeneca European Commission Approval. The European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for Fluenz Tetra, the first and only intra-nasal four-strain influenza vaccine available in Europe according to the company. It is aimed at preventing influenza in children and adolescents.
Domino's Pizza Directorate Change. The Chief Executive, Lance Batchelor has tendered his resignation having been offered a new role in a 'significant private equity backed company'. He will remain with the company until 30 April 2014 to ensure an orderly handover and the process to find a replacement has now started.
Berkeley Group Half Year Results see PBT up over 19% to GBP169.5m on revenue ahead 19.7% at GBP821m. It has achieved its target of increasing its land holdings to over GBP3bn earlier than anticipated and this performance reinforces the company's view that it is on course to meet the first milestone payment of GBP568m by September 2015 and to return GBP1.7bn in cash to shareholders no later than September 2021. It has declared a further interim dividend of 90p per share payable in January 2014, leaving a balance of 270p to be paid in order to meet the first milestone. The company noted that this places it firmly ahead of its original timetable and on target to reach the first milestone. The Government's Help to Buy scheme is expected to be used in less than 5% of Berkeley's overall transactions. It added that the company has been positioned to deliver long term sustainable success and is confident of achieving this, whilst mindful of the risks of operating in a cyclical market sensitive to the uncertainty of political decision-making and the rhetoric of regulatory change.
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