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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (January 07, 2014)

January 7, 2014, Tuesday, 12:03 GMT | 07:03 EST | 16:33 IST | 19:03 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open slightly higher this morning despite the weaker performance on Wall Street and mixed outcome in Asia. Overnight we had domestic economic survey data out from the British Chambers of Commerce reporting that British businesses intend to recruit more staff and increase investment this year. Today's economic diary is confined to the US with the release of trade balance figures at lunchtime. Commodity prices are generally firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is stronger against the yen, sterling and the euro but all are trading within narrow ranges.
 
Company Announcements
 
Dunelm Trading Update for the 26 weeks to 28 December 2013 reports that total revenue rose 4.8% in H1 to GBP356.3m with lfl revenue 0.9% lower. After the previously reported Q1 which was negatively impacted by the unusually warm weather, Q2 saw lfl growth of 2.9%, helped by the company's second autumn catalogue and its first ever TV advertising campaign. Gross margin for H1 is estimated to have risen by 100bps and it noted ongoing progress with its multi-channel business with it anticipating H1 PBT to be GBP61.5m. It added that it remains confident in the long term growth prospects for the business.
 
AMEC Contract. It has been awarded a renewed project management consultancy contract by the Kuwait Oil Company with the five year 'call off' deal worth GBP255m. This was won in a competitive tender and follows the company's successful delivery of two previous five year contracts held since 2004.
 
Costain Trading Update reports that since its IMS on 5 November 2013, it has continued to 'perform strongly' and expects to deliver full year results in line with the Board's expectations. It finished the year with the order book up 25% at GBP3bn, of which over 90% is repeat orders. It noted that in excess of GBP750m of work has been secured for 2014 and it has a strong preferred bidder position on contracts worth over GBP400m, adding that it finished the year with positive net cash.