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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (July 16, 2014)

July 16, 2014, Wednesday, 07:24 GMT | 03:24 EST | 11:54 IST | 14:24 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open slightly higher this morning with investors focusing on further economic data and US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen who will be speaking again this afternoon. Overnight we had economic news out of China with reported GDP in Q2 coming in at 7.5% and industrial production of 9.2%, both slightly ahead of forecasts. The economic diary today also sees the release of domestic unemployment figures and US producer prices data. Commodity prices are firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly higher against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges ahead of these data releases and Janet Yellen's testimony.

Company Announcements

Sports Direct

It has announced that Mike Ashley has informed the Board that he does not wish to be awarded any shares under the company's 2015 Bonus Share Scheme. Furthermore, whilst this scheme remains in place (up to the financial period April 2019), he does not expect any other share based incentive scheme to be proposed to shareholders in relation to his role as an Executive Director of Sports Direct.

London Stock Exchange

IMS reports Q1 total income up 16% to GBP323.9m with revenue ahead 20% overall and 12% on an organic and constant currency basis, with growth across nearly all its business segments. It noted that the proposed acquisition of Russell Investments will help expand its global footprint, particularly in the key US market. It added that as it now enters the seasonally quieter summer period, it is well placed to benefit from continued positive market trends via its increasingly diversified businesses and work to realise its previously announced integration synergies at LCH.Clearnet Group.

Royal Mail

It has received notice from the French competition authority alleging breaches of anti-trust laws by one of its subsidiaries, GLS France as part of a broader investigation into alleged activities within the industry. It noted that given the early stage nature, it cannot yet determine the amount or range of potential loss; however, it is possible that it could be material. It added that an update will be provided at the 'appropriate time'.

Rio Tinto

It notes that it has delivered a 'very strong H1 operating performance' helped by productivity gains across its businesses. It added that it remains focused on achieving sustainable cost savings whilst delivering the highest quality growth.