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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (December 18, 2013)

December 18, 2013, Wednesday, 09:00 GMT | 04:00 EST | 13:30 IST | 16:00 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning although gains may be limited as investors look ahead to the US Federal Reserve meeting statement due out tonight 7.00pm UK time on whether it will start tapering its bond buying programme. Today's economic diary will see the release of the Bank of England MPC meeting minutes, unemployment figures and the CBI Distributive Trades survey with attention then turning to the US for the publication of building permits data and finally the FOMC and Ben Bernanke's press conference. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is higher against both the dollar and the euro but the key currencies are continuing to trade in narrow ranges ahead of the FOMC decision.

Company Announcements

Tullow Oil Well Result. It has announced that the Paon-2A appraisal well in the CI-103 licence offshore Cote d'Ivoire did not encounter oil at this location, reducing the upside volume potential associated with the Autruche field. After completion of logging operations, the well will be plugged and abandoned. Tullow (15% plus a 15% carried interest) operates the CI-103 licence together with partners Anadarko Petroleum (55%) and Petroci (5% plus a 10% carried interest).

Barratt Developments Strategic Alliance. It has announced the creation of a new JV entity for a strategic alliance between the company and London & Quadrant. It will act as a platform to continue investing in a disciplined manner, future opportunities in London. The pair first partnered in 2010 on a residential development on the fringe of the City of London and since then three other sites. It added that together these JV sites will deliver 1,700 units with a gross development value of around GBP1.2bn.

BP Oil Discovery. It has announced it has made a significant oil discovery at its Gila prospect which it co-owns with ConocoPhillips in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico. It added that Gila was BP's third significant Paleogene discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. The company also separatly announced Q4 2013 exploration highlights noting that this year had been its most successful for new field exploration for nearly a decade.