FTSE 100 called lower at the outset
The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning as concerns about global economic growth and the euro zone situation with Spain in particular acting as a drag upon sentiment. In terms of economic news out today, the Nationwide has reported that UK house prices fell 1% on average in March and were 0.9% lower on the year, the first annual decline in 6 months as the tax break for first time buyers came to an end. The economic focus now shifts to the US where at lunchtime we will have the final reading of GDP for Q4 2011 together with weekly jobless claims released (see below). This will be followed after the UK market has shut with another speech from US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Commodity prices are generally lower with oil being impacted by news overnight that the UK, US and French Governments are in talks about a potential release of their strategic reserves. On the foreign exchanges, the major currencies continue to trade in narrow ranges.
Imperial Tobacco Trading Statement reports that its financial position and operational performance for the year to September 2012 is in line with its expectations. After Q1 was impacted by various external factors, it noted that Q2 delivered strong revenue and profit growth. H1 reported tobacco net revenues are expected to grow by around 3% but reported stick equivalent volumes to fall by about 4%.
TUI Travel Pre-Close Trading Update reports that overall trading is in line with its expectations with UK Winter trading exceeding expectations and Summer 2012 volumes improving in all its key markets since its last update. However, demand for North Africa remains weak, particularly in France and its business improvement programme is progressing to plan, which will help it deliver in the current challenging macro-economic environment.
Homeserve Trading Statement notes that in the UK it is making progress in terms of customer focus, improving controls and governance processes. It now expects policy retention to be around 80% and the one-off costs related to the customer refocusing to be around £20m in FY 2012 as previously announced. Customer calls will decline by around 9% in FY 2012 as opposed to the 8% previously indicated. The international business is continuing to make progress and overall it expects adjusted PBT to be in line with market expectations for the year to end March 2012.
STOCK/MARKET: CFDREGION: EuropeCOUNTRY: United Kingdom
CATEGORY: CFDsPUBLISHED: 29 Mar 12