New York: 15:34 || London: 20:34 || Mumbai: 00:04 || Singapore: 02:34

Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (December 17, 2013)

December 17, 2013, Tuesday, 11:15 GMT | 06:15 EST | 15:45 IST | 18:15 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat this morning as investors prepare to digest further economic data ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow. Today's economic diary sees the release of domestic and US inflation data and the CBI industrial order trends survey together with a speech from the Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney. Commodity prices are flat and trading in narrow ranges and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is weaker against the pound, euro and yen as investors wait on the news from the Fed.

Company Announcements

Babcock Acquisition. It has acquired Context Information Security, a provider of technical consultancy services in the cyber security market for GBP28m plus deferred consideration of GBP4m payable in 2016.

National Express Pre-Close Statement notes that overall trading has remained positive and in line with the trends reported in the Q3 IMS on 31 October 2013. Revenue continues to grow 'strongly' in UK Coach with 'steady' growth in UK Bus, Rail and North America. The intercity coach revenue trend in Spain is continuing to show improvement. Cash generation is strong and it reports that it is making good progress in developing its pipeline of capital-light opportunities. It added that it remains on track to deliver the Board's expectations for revenue, profit and cash generation for 2013, supported by a strong Balance Sheet.

Dixons Half Year Results sees underlying PBT of GBP30.2m (GBP14m) on total underlying group sales of GBP3.43bn, the latter up 5% on a currency neutral basis and 6% on a lfl basis. There was a total loss after tax including the discontinued operations of Electroworld Turkey, Unieuro and PIXmania of GBP83.5m. It noted 'good' cash generation and the strong performances in the UK and Ireland and it was on track to reduce costs by its targeted GBP45m in the current year. It added that it remained cautious about the outlook for consumers in its markets, with the very strong trading in the same period last year and the annualised Comet exit making H2 'more challenging', but it had a 'great' H1.