UK stock market morning note (January 14, 2014)
January 14, 2014, Tuesday, 09:40 GMT | 05:40 EST | 15:10 IST | 17:40 SGT
The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning following the performances overnight on Wall Street and in Asia with investors focus again returning to the release of more economic data. Today's economic diary sees the publication of domestic inflation data which is expected to remain unchanged at 2.1%. At lunchtime, attention will switch across the Atlantic where retail sales figures are due out. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are little changed as markets await the economic news.
ASOS Trading Statement reports that retail sales in the 4 months ending December 2013 rose 38% yoy (UK +37% and International +38%). International retail sales remained steady at 60% of total sales with the retail gross margin ahead by around 90bps on the prior year. It ended the period with 7.9m active customers, 41% ahead of the corresponding period and added that the business continues to trade in line with expectations.
Barratt Developments Trading Statement reports that it has had a strong H1 and delivered 6,195 total completions in the period, an increase of 19.3% on the prior year. The Help to Buy scheme continues to have a positive impact and with improved market conditions it is seeing some increase in underlying sales prices. Further changes in mix have also driven up its average selling price (ASP) and for the period it expects total ASP to rise by around 13.7% to cGBP211,000. It is continuing to see 'excellent opportunities' in the land buying market and added that total forward sales as at 31 December 2013 were up 70.6% on the prior year to GBP1.26bn, equating to 7,007 plots.
IG Group Interim Results see net trading revenue up 8% at GBP182.7m with PBT ahead 17% at GBP95.1m, the latter driven by higher revenue and prior year one-off operating costs. The interim dividend is maintained at 5.75p. It added that the business had performed satisfactorily and whilst only a month in, the H2 has started well. However, comparatives now get more demanding and operating costs in H2 will be higher than in H1.
Capita Transport for London (TfL) Congestion and Low Emission Zone Schemes. It has announced that it has won back the contract it lost in 2009. Capita will take over full responsibility for the schemes in November 2015 following a period of implementation commencing this year. The 5 year deal is expected to generate revenue of GBP145m for the company with TfL having the option to extend the contract for another 5 years.