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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (May 07, 2014)

May 7, 2014, Wednesday, 10:58 GMT | 06:58 EST | 14:28 IST | 16:58 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning following the overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia with the former dragged down by financial and technology stocks. The main economic event today sees investors now waiting to hear more about the outlook for the US economy by the US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen who will be speaking this afternoon. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are range bound ahead of Yellen's testimony.

Company Announcements

J Sainsbury

Final Results see underlying group sales incl VAT up 2.8% at GBP26.3bn with retail sales inc VAT, ex fuel up 2.7% and lfl sales ahead 0.2%. Underlying PBT grew 5.3% to GBP798m with the proposed full year dividend raised 3.6% to 17.3p. It added that whilst the general economic outlook is showing signs of improvement, conditions in the food retail sector are likely to remain challenging for the foreseeable future, noting that with its differentiated offer supported by its 'value of values', Nectar data and Brand Match will allow it to outperform its peers in the year ahead.

Legal & General

Q1 2014 Results notes net cash generation and operational cash up 21% and 6% at GBP301m and GBP297m respectively at their highest-ever levels. LGIM total AUM rose 5% to GBP462.6bn, an all-time high. Retail Protection sales saw a new Q1 record, with CoFunds growing AUA to GBP65.6bn and it completed GBP1bn of direct investments in the period.

Imperial Tobacco

Half Year Results see tobacco net revenue down 2% in constant currency terms at GBP3.13bn with total adjusted operating profit down 4% on a constant currency basis at GBP1.36bn. The dividend is raised 10% to 38.8p and noted growth brands underlying volumes rose 4%, outperforming the market but its stock optimisation programme did reduce trade inventories. It added that its cost optimisation programme remains on track, and whilst conditions are still tough in some markets, it is on course to deliver its full year targets.