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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (January 23, 2014)

January 23, 2014, Thursday, 09:12 GMT | 04:12 EST | 13:42 IST | 16:12 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning following the weakness in Asia overnight after the release of the preliminary reading of the HSBC Chinese Manufacturing PMI came in below expectations at 49.6. This was put down to a cooling of domestic demand conditions with a reading below the key 50 level mark indicating a contraction. Today's economic diary will see the publication of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey followed by the latest weekly US unemployment claims and existing home sales data. Commodity prices are generally flat to lower and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are little changed.
 
Company Announcements
 
London Stock Exchange IMS reports that financial performance has been strong with Q3 total income up 48% to GBP308.9m and 9 months year to date ahead 38% to GBP876m. Growth has been driven by organic rises in all segments as well as the inclusion of LCH Clearnet revenues; on an organic currency basis, Q3 revenues grew 13%. It added that as it starts Q4, there are positive signs in its primary markets, while in secondary trading both the UK and Italy are running ahead of the same period a year ago.
 
St James's Place Q4 New Business and year update notes total new single investments ahead 22% to GBP7.2bn with a net inflow of funds under management of GBP4.3bn, up 28%. Funds under management at the end of the year stood at GBP44.3bn, a rise of 27% with SJP new business on an APE basis growing 20% to GBP762.9m.
 
SSE IMS reports that it is on course to deliver real growth in the dividend and increases in adjusted EPS and adjusted PBT for the financial year to end March 2014. It added that the operating environment is not expected to be any easier in 2014/2015 but it has a well-balanced range of businesses and a good range of assets.
 
Pearson Trading Statement reports that the 2013 preliminary results are expected to see operating profit of GBP865m before restructuring charges, adjusted EPS of around 83p and net restructuring costs of GBP130m. It noted that whilst it made progress strategically in 2013 its trading and financial performance was weaker than expected. It added that with trading conditions still challenging in 2014, it will accelerate its transformation this year and remains confident about its future growth prospects in 2015 and beyond.