Market news round up, upgrades & downgrades courtesy of Cantor Index

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UK Corporate Announcements

Hays announces a full year pre-tax profit of £122.4m from £100,7m and states that the overall economic backdrop was likely to remain challenging

WPP cuts its full year sales forecasts to around 3.5% from 4% and states there was some slowing of revenues during Q2 in the USA

Hunting announces H1 revenues of £406m up 621 and an H1 EBITDA of £78.4m from £35.5m

Evraz states that it remains cautious on the outlook for the rest of the year

Admiral Group announces H1 revenues of £1.17bn and a pre-tax profit of £171.8m and states that growth is slowing to a more modest level

Melrose states that the order book remains strong as it details an H1 adjusted pre-tax profit of £81.9m from £70m

JJB announces that start of the formal sale process and that there is no guarantee of a sale, as it details 6 week comp sales fell 3.3%

UK Market News

Barclays stays in the headlines after the SFO confirmed yesterday that it is looking into payments made by Barclays to Qatar’s SWF as it sought to raise funds to avoid a government bailout

Barclays also announces today Antony Jenkins as its group CEO, its current head of Barclays Retail

The Liberal Democrats statement yesterday is likely to keep tax advisors and wealth managers busy in the coming weeks as the sector prepares for the increased likelihood of some form of land tax, wealth tax in the next 10-20 years

The FT suggests that BT is looking to sell its 23% stake in Tech Mahindra and looks to gain around $250m

The Guardian suggests that the Australian iron ore bubble could have burst as the Chinese economy continues to slow its rate of growth

UK Analyst Upgrades

Debenhams Pt Raised To 106P Vs 95P At Citi, Stays Buy

Kingfisher Raised To Buy From Neutral At Citi

Lsl Property Svcs Rated New ‘Buy’ at Jefferies

Morgan Sindall Group Rated New ‘Buy’ at Jefferies

WH Smith Pt Raised To 660P Vs 600P At Citi, Stays Buy

UK Analyst Cuts

Anglo American Off Jpmorgan European Analyst Focus List

Antofagasta Pt Cut 3% To 1,400P At Exane; Kept At Outperform

LSE Added To Least Preferred Diversified Financials At Ubs

Old Mutual Cut To Underperform From Neutral At Credit Suisse

Travis Perkins Cut To Hold From Buy At Jefferies

UK Insider Buying

Centamin Plc, (CEY), 1 insider(s) bought 52,056 shares, £0.76

UK Insider Selling

Meggitt Plc, (MGGT), 1 insider(s) sold 26,317 shares, £3.96

Qinetiq Group Plc, (QQ/),  insider(s) sold 21,973 shares, £1.71

Major European Companies Reporting

ACS Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA, S1, 0,  Admiral Group PLC, S1, 0.444,  Baloise Holding AG, S1, 4.31,  Carrefour SA, S1, 0.29,  Edenred, S1, 0,  Eurazeo, S1, 0,  Evraz PLC, S1, 0,  Gemalto NV, S1, 0.983,  Havas SA, S1, 0.14,  Hays PLC, R, 0.054,  Hunting PLC, S1, 0.217,  Lagardere SCA, S1, 0,  Melrose PLC, S1, -0.06,  National Bank of Greece SA, Q2, -0.07,  Pernod-Ricard SA, R, 4.585,  Sofina SA, S1, 0,  Vivendi SA, S1, 1.12,  Wendel SA, S1, 0,  WPP PLC, S1, 0.26

European Market Summary

Draghi has responded to some recent criticisms that the ECB was over stepping its mandate by stating that it was justified to use exceptional measures and that on occasion it was required to go beyond the standard monetary tools

Reports suggest that Metro is in advanced talks to sell the non German operations of its Real grocery stores, which has sales of around €3bn

German press suggests that the government is looking at measures to streamline the food VAT rules

Italy sells up to €9bn in bonds this morning

S&P 500 Companies Reporting

S&P 500 Ex Dividends (gross):-  BlackRock Inc, BLK, (1.50),  Ball Corp, BLL, (.10),  Fluor Corp, FLR, (.16),  Hartford Financial Services Group Inc, HIG, (.10),  Joy Global Inc, JOY, (.175),  Nordstrom Inc, JWN, (.27),  Kellogg Co, K, (.44),  Lockheed Martin Corp, LMT, (1),  McDonald’s Corp, MCD, (.70),  McKesson Corp, MCK, (.20),  M&T Bank Corp, MTB, (.70),  NIKE Inc, NKE, (.36),  NIKE Inc, NKESA, (.36)

Major US Stock Movers After Hours

Lyondell Basell gained 4% as S&P confirms that it is to replace Sears in its benchmark S&P 500 index next week, Sears fell around 3% on the news

Pandora gained over 8% in late trading as it announces an unexpectedly flat Q2, against expectations for a quarterly loss

Tivo also gained around 4% in after hours trading as it reports a Q2 loss that was also inside the forecasts citing a growth in subscriber numbers

Vera Bradley came off around 8% as it cuts its full year outlook

US Market News

Citigroup has agreed to pay $590m to settle allegations that it hid billions in toxic debt from shareholders

The US hedge fund industry has moved a step closer to being able to more openly advertise its products following a rule changed proposed by the SEC

The Brazilian central bank has cut its benchmark lending rate to 7.5%

Bill Gross has suggested that even if QEIII is not explicitly detailed at Jackson Hole tomorrow it is still likely to emerge ahead

ScotiaBank announces that it is to buy ING Bank of Canada for CAD$3.13bn

Overnight Market News

The chairman of the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission has stated that China must persist in implementing policies aimed at holding down prices and increasing modestly priced housing

The Philippines announces that its GDP gained by a higher than expected 5.9% in Q2

Samsung looks to be heading for a crucial December deadline to remove some of its products, that were named in the recent Apple case

Sources suggest that Hong Kong is considering new rules to cool soaring house prices, including some apartment blocks which can only be acquired by locals

While the Hong Kong Economic Journal is lifting its price, seemingly no major story there, but it is the first Chinese language paper to lift its prices in 12 years

FX Summary

The major focus remains the Jackson Hole meeting tomorrow

The Norwegian krone gained yesterday after the central bank left rates unchanged and stated that it would not look to amend borrowing rates at least until the year end

Commodity Summary

Commodity markets also are looking relatively subdued as expectations in recent days have trimmed of any QEIII news from America tomorrow

Economic Data Due

08:55 August German Unemployment change, 8k exp. 7k previous

09:30 UK July Mortgage Approvals, 46k exp. 44.2k previous

10:00 Eurozone August Consumer Confidence, -24.6 previous

13:30 US Personal Income, 0.3% exp. 0.5% previous

13:30 US Personal Spending, 0.5% exp. 0.0% previous

13:30 US Initial Jobless Claims, 370k exp. 373k previous

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