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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (June 12, 2014)

June 12, 2014, Thursday, 07:17 GMT | 02:17 EST | 10:47 IST | 13:17 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open slightly lower this morning following the overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia as markets look to take a pause. Overnight we had domestic economic data out from the RICS reporting that the house price balance came in at +57 for May, which was above forecast, athough the survey noted the demand for homes slowing. The economic diary today also sees the release of US retail sales figures, the latest US weekly jobless claims and this evening a speech from the Bank of England Governor and also the Chancellor at the Mansion House Dinner. The Chancellor, George Osborne is expected to set out plans overseeing new rules on forex, commodities and interest rate benchmarks. Commodity prices are mixed with oil slightly higher and other commodities lower, and on the foreign exchanges the pound is slightly higher against both the dollar and the euro but all are within narrow trading ranges ahead of these data releases and Mansion House speeches.

Company Announcements

Home Retail Group

IMS reports that it has made a good start to the year, with both Argos and Homebase seeing positive lfl sales growth of 4.9% and 7.9% with total sales up 4.8% at GBP868m and 5.5% at GBP445m respectively. These were helped by strong performances in seasonal products due to better weather compared to the same period a year ago. In addition, Argos saw further sales growth in electrical products with Homebase achieving growth in sales of big ticket items. It noted that it will be annualising more challenging comparators through the rest of the year but added that at this early stage of the financial year, it expects to deliver full year benchmark profit in line with current market expectations.

Pets At Home

Final Results see performance in line with management expectations at the time of the IPO with underlying EBITDA up 12.4% to GBP110.7m on revenue ahead 11.2% at GBP665.4m. It noted that whilst the lack of sustained increase in consumer disposable incomes gives some caution to the outlook, it believes that the potential of its retail and service businesses will enable it to deliver on its strategy and achieve long-term returns.