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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (May 08, 2014)

May 8, 2014, Thursday, 07:06 GMT | 02:06 EST | 11:36 IST | 14:06 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat to slightly higher this morning after the overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia on comments about the US economy from the US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen who will be speaking again this afternoon and better than forecast Chinese trade figures. Overnight we had domestic economic news from the RICS reporting that house prices slowed in April with the headline house price balance coming in at +54 (March +57). The economic diary today also sees statements from both the Bank of England and European Central Bank together with the release of the latest US weekly jobless claims. Commodity prices are range bound and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly lower against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges ahead of the central bank statements, US data and Yellen's testimony.


Company Announcements

Wm Morrison

IMS reports that in the 13 weeks to 4 May 2014, total sales ex fuel were 4.2% lower (down 5.6% inc fuel) and lfl sales declined 7.1% (8.2% inc fuel). It noted that it was making 'good progress' in all its strategic initiatives and added that whilst the trading environment remains challenging, its financial outlook for the full year of underlying PBT in the range of GBP325m-GBP375m is unchanged.

Standard Chartered

IMS notes that performance so far this year is in line with its expectations with the difficult market conditions in Q1 continuing into April and May. Whilst current momentum is ahead of H2 last year, group income as expected in Q1 was down by a low single digit percentage on the corresponding period in 2013. Performance was impacted by local currency weakness although group income was up slightly on a constant currency basis. Margins have stabilised but remain at compressed levels. It added that overall group operating profit in Q1 was down by a high single digit percentage, in line with expectations and on a constant currency basis was down by a mid single digit percentage.

BT  

Q4 and Full Year Results see adjusted PBT for the latter come in 6% higher at GBP2.8bn on revenue of GBP18.2bn. Its BT Sport service is now in around 5m homes and it raised the dividend by 15% to 10.9p. It added that it now expects to increase the latter by 10%-15% for each of the next 2 years.

Barclays

Strategy Update will see it with four core businesses comprising Personal and Corporate Banking, Barclaycard, Africa Banking and Investment Bank. It also announced the creation of a non-core unit. The plans for the Investment Bank will see gross headcount reductions of around 7,000 by 2016 with the overall 2014 gross headcount reduction increased to 14,000. It expects to incur further costs of GBP800m and updated its group cost guidance for 2014 and 2015 with its dividend payout guidance remaining unchanged.