UK stock market morning note (January 17, 2014)
January 17, 2014, Friday, 09:34 GMT | 04:34 EST | 14:04 IST | 16:34 SGT
The FTSE 100 is called to open slightly higher this morning despite the mixed performances overnight on Wall Street and in Asia with markets again looking ahead to further data releases. Today's economic diary sees the publication of domestic retail sales followed by US building permits, industrial production data and the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. Commodity prices are slightly firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is up against the other major currencies although all are trading range bound ahead of the economic news due out later.
Shell Q4 2013 and FY2013 Update reports that the Q4 figures are expected to be significantly lower than recent levels of profitability. The Q4 earnings on a current cost of supplies basis (CCS) ex identified items are expected to be USD2.9bn, having been impacted by weak industry conditions in downstream oil products, higher exploration expenses and lower upstream volumes. Q4 CCS earnings are expected to be USD2.2bn with full year 2013 earnings USD16.8bn. Full year identified items are expected to be a net charge of USD2.7bn, mainly reflecting impairments in Upstream with full year CCS earnings ex identified items amounting to USD19.5bn. Shell's Chief Executive noted that the 2013 performance is not what he expected from the company.
William Hill Trading Statement reports that Q4 saw strong underlying net revenue growth from sports betting with above average gross win margins in Retail OTC and strong wagering growth from Online Sportsbook. Online gaming net revenue growth rates improved through the period benefitting from improvements to mobile gaming and the Retail estate seeing the roll-out of the Eclipse gaming machine.
Aviva Indonesia JV. The company is to join forces with Astra International to create Astra Aviva Life to sell and distribute life insurance products in Indonesia serving both Astra's customer network and the wider market in the country. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval with the JV expected to be launched later this year.