Market News and Views
The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning following the declines on Wall Street and in Asia overnight with the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes failing to provide any clear direction on further stimulus from the US together with concerns over the global economic outlook. There is no domestic economic data due for release today so market attention is likely to focus on a speech at lunchtime from the ECB President followed by the latest weekly US job claims (see below). Commodity prices are generally lower and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are range bound as investors remain cautious ahead of the release of China's GDP data tomorrow.
Today's Company announcements
Associated British Foods Q3/IMS reports that group revenue for the 40 weeks to 23 June 2012 was 11% ahead of the same period last year and in line with the growth reported at H1 helped by its sugar operations and Primark. Whilst noting that UK household incomes remain under pressure, it added that it remains on track to deliver 'substantial growth' in both adjusted operating profit and adjusted EPS for the full year.
Oxford Instruments IMS reports that it has made an 'encouraging' start to the year with orders, sales and profits all ahead of the corresponding period a year ago on both an organic and reported basis. It added that despite the continued economic uncertainty, particularly in Europe, it anticipates it will make good progress in line with its expectations for the full year and consistent with its 14 cubed objectives.
Aegis Recommended Cash Offer. It has reached agreement with Dentsu who has agreed to acquire Aegis for GBP3.16bn with accepting shareholders to receive 240p in cash for each share held. The offer represents a premium of 48% to last night's closing price of 162.2p and 45% to the average closing price of 165.5p over the 3 months to 11 July 2012.
Vodafone Acquisition. It is acquiring TelstraClear Limited, the New Zealand business of Telstra Corporation for GBP430m in cash. According to Vodafone, this will strengthen its New Zealand portfolio of fixed communications and create a leading total communications company.
|LME copper 3MO $
||ECB President Draghi Speech