City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open down 13 points from yesterday's close of 5,714, tracking declines seen in Asian stocks after the Chinese government announced that it wants local authorities to keep property price control policies tight. A third set of gains in the US is not thought to be enough to prevent the FTSE from losing around half of the points advanced yesterday.
That despite the positive reaction to the results out overnight Stateside from Google and Microsoft, above all.
Today´s data calendar is very light. Figures for the UK´s public sector net borrowing requirement are due out at 09:30. Nevertheless, the main point of interest on the macroeconomic front will be this afternoon´s meeting of European finance ministers to approve Spain´s bank rescue funds.
Worth pointing out, there is some "market chatter" this morning regarding how long Spain can hold out with current borrowing costs.
There is also interest on the part of investors in the Chinese manufacturing sector data which will come out over this next weekend.
The Stoxx 600 is on track for its best winning streak since 2006.
Reported revenues at telecoms giant Vodafone declined in the first quarter with unfavourable foreign exchange movements in Europe providing a drag. Nevertheless, the group said that trading was in line with expectations and the outlook for the full year is maintained. Group revenue totalled £10,767m in the three months to June 30th, down 7.7% year-on-year. However, on an organic basis, revenues actually increased by 1.0%.
Close Brothers Group has said that difficult trading conditions for its Winterflood business continued to affect its overall performance during the five months ended June 30th, but said the Banking division delivered another strong performance in the period. The Banking loan book increased a further 10% to £4.1bn (31 Jan 2012: £3.8bn) and is up 20% in the financial year to date. The Securities division continues to experience difficult market conditions and within this Winterflood has been affected by low retail investor risk appetite throughout the period. The Asset Management division is nearing completion of its restructuring and made a small loss as expected.
Anglo American, one of the largest mining companies in the world, saw volume growth across most of its portfolio in the second quarter, with the exception of platinum and diamond production. "Successful project execution and asset optimisation delivered volume growth in iron ore, metallurgical coal, export thermal coal, copper and nickel," the group said in a statement on Friday. The firm said that growth projects delivered in 2011 have continued to ramp up well.
Most companies do not get penalised for telling markets that one of their new revenues streams is on track to double, at least in volume terms. Yet that is, to a certain extent, what happened yesterday with Imagination Technologies. Then again, most companies´ shares do not trade at 34 times´ forward earnings, The Times´s Tempus chips in. [13 Mar '13]
Adjusted operating profit increased 26 per cent to 79.8m pounds in the six months to January 31st 2013 at specialist financial services group Close Brothers underpinned by strong performance within the Banking division. [12 Mar '13]
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