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UK stock market morning note (May 22, 2014)

May 22, 2014, Thursday, 07:23 GMT | 02:23 EST | 11:53 IST | 14:23 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning following the overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia after the US Federal Reserve minutes discussed 'prudent planning' of monetary policy but this move did not indicate change would happen soon. Overnight we had the flash HSBC Chinese manufacturing PMI reading out which came in above forecast at 49.7, although still below the key 50 expansion mark level. The rest of the economic diary today sees a raft of data with the release of the second reading of domestic GDP, public sector net borrowing figures and the CBI industrial orders survey. These will be followed in the US with the latest weekly jobless claims, flash manufacturing PMI and existing home sales data. Commodity prices are slightly 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.


Company Announcements

Royal Mail

Preliminary Results show revenue ahead 2% at GBP9.45bn with EBITDA before transformation costs up at GBP942m with operating profit after transformation costs increasing to GBP430m. There is a final dividend of 13.3p a share. It added that its key value drivers remain single digit revenue growth, margin expansion and underlying free cashflow growth for the 2014/15 financial year. But it noted that it is facing increasing challenges in the parcels and letters markets in the UK and expects to provide more clarity on its dividend policy once the regulatory position on direct delivery becomes clearer.

Zoopla

The digital media property company has confirmed press speculation of its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange main market via an offer to institutional investors and to its eligible members.

IG Group

Pre-Close Trading Update reports that trading has been 'generally subdued' since its IMS was published in the middle of March, with the relative weakness most evident in May. Volumes in the FX market have been particularly impacted. With just over a week of the financial year remaining, it currently anticipates that revenue for the full year will be slightly below expectations, although profit, earnings and cash generation remain on track, as operating costs continue to run slightly below plan.