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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (December 10, 2013)

December 10, 2013, Tuesday, 08:28 GMT | 03:28 EST | 12:58 IST | 15:28 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat to slightly lower this morning following the lack of clear direction from Wall Street and Asia. Overnight we had domestic economic news from the RICS reporting that its monthly house price balance rose to 58 (57), its highest reading in 11 years, noting that without any meaningful increase in house building, prices will continue to rise. Chinese factory output, retail sales and fixed asset investment data released overnight appeared to suggest that its economy remains on track to achieve the Government's 7.5% growth target for 2013. The economic diary today now focuses back on the UK with manufacturing and industrial production figures due out together with the trade balance data. These will be followed at midday with a speech from the ECB President Mario Draghi. Commodity prices are flat to firmer and on the foreign exchanges, both the pound and euro are slightly higher against the dollar but all are continuing to trade in narrow ranges.

Company Announcements

Whitbread IMS reports that total sales for the 13 weeks to 28 November 2013 rose by 13.8% with lfl sales ahead 4.3% driven by Premier Inn and Costa with an improved performance from Restaurants. For the year to date, total sales are up 13% with lfl growing by 3.3% led by the continuing expansion of Premier Inn and Costa. It added that this performance keeps it on track to deliver full year results in line with expectations.

Lloyds Banking Group Placing of shares in St James's Place. Further to its announcement after the market closed yesterday it has confirmed that it has placed 109m shares at 630p. Following completion of the placing, Lloyds will no longer hold any shares in St James Place with the bank realising a gain on sale of GBP105m.

Prudential Investor Conference. The company is outlining three new objectives with Asia underlying free surplus generation of GBP0.9bn-GBP1.1bn in 2017, Asia life and asset management pre-tax IFRS operating profit to grow at a compound annual rate of at least 15% over the period 2012 to 2017 and cumulative group underlying free surplus generation of at least GBP10bn over the four year period from 2014 to end 2017. It added that it has now met five of its six 2013 objectives and is on track to achieving the remaining objective of doubling 2009 Asia new business profits by 2013.

TUI Travel Preliminary Results see underlying PBT up 21% at GBP473m on revenue ahead 4% at GBP15.05bn. The dividend is raised 15% to 13.5p and noted robust current trading.