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

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UK Corporate Announcements

Smiths Group announces full year revenues of £3.04bn just ahead of the forecasts and an operating profit of £407m and states that the economic environment remains uncertain and that pressures on government spending continues

Redrow reports a full year pre-tax profit of £43m up from £25.3m on revenues of £478m from £452m

ASOS reports Q4 retail sales gained 31% to £145m, in line with the expectations

PZ Cussons states that its group performance has been in line with the management forecasts and stays confident of a return to profitable growth this year despite the challenging market conditions

Northgate details today that its trading has been in line with the expectations

French Connection announces an H1 loss of £6.1m and operating expenses of £55.7m

Capital & Counties announces a share placing of around 10% of its current capital to fund its covent garden expansion

UK Market News

Lonmin is in the news as workers at its Marikana mine have ended their strike after agreeing to 11% wage increases, the mine produces as much as 10% of global platinum output, and recent violence there has cost the lives of 45 people

The FT suggests that BP is in talks to sell Texas assets for as much as $2.5bn

The paper also writes on how bondholders are becoming increasingly confident of a successful IPO of RBS’ Direct Line unit, after some reports that RBS could yet pull the move if it was to be valued at less than £3bn

The Telegraph details on how The Pentagon has asked for more information on any BAE/EADS deal

Manchester City lost to Real Madrid 3-2 in the early stages of the Champions League last night, to two late goals, the last of which by Ronaldo, and the UK press details how yesterday the football club announced it posted a loss of £4.7m last year, citing the early exit from the European tournament last year as a major factor

FTSE 100 Ex dividends (net): Aviva (10), Petrofac ($0.21), G4S, (3.42)

Estimated FTSE 100 Dividend Impact: 1.5 points

FTSE 250 Ex dividends (net): BBA Aviation PLC, BBA, ($.042),  Computacenter PLC, CCC, (5),  IG Group Holdings PLC, IGG, (16.75),  Interserve PLC, IRV, (6.40),  IRP Property Investments Ltd, IRP, (1.80),  Kier Group PLC, KIE, (44.50),  Melrose PLC, MRO, (2.60),  Premier Farnell PLC, PFL, (4.40),  Renishaw PLC, RSW, (28.20),  RPS Group PLC, RPS, (3.06)

FTSE Small Share Ex dividends (net): Chime Communications PLC, CHW, (2.10),  Consort Medical PLC, CSRT, (12.10),  Costain Group PLC, COST, (3.50),  Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC/The, HSL, (5.50),  IRP Property Investments Ltd, IRP, (1.80),  Standard Life UK Smaller Co Trust, SLS, (2.10),  Tribal Group PLC, TRB, (.40)

UK Analyst Upgrades

Buy AstraZeneca, UBS Says After Meeting; To Return Cash

Ashmore Rated New Overweight At Morgan Stanley, Pt 390P

Whitbread Pt Raised To 2,050P Vs 1,770P At Jefferies

UK Analyst Cuts

GlaxoSmithKline Cut to Underperform from Outperform at Exane

Kingfisher Cut To Neutral From Buy At Nomura

UK Insider Buying

Cls Holdings Plc, (CLI), 1 insider(s) bought 10,000 shares, £7.05

Ladbrokes Plc, (LAD), 1 insider(s) bought 14,300 shares, £1.8

UK Insider Selling

Euromoney Instl Investo, (ERM), 1 insider(s) sold 10,000 shares, £7.88

Major European Companies Reporting

Smiths Group PLC, R, 0.912, Inditex SA, S1, 1.43

European Market Summary

Draghi is reportedly open to the idea of publishing ECB meeting minutes, matching the model set by the Fed and the Bank of England, the change would need to be decided by a majority of the ECB council

Inditex, Spain’s largest company by market cap, announces an H1 net profit of €944m, ahead of the estimates of €893m on sales of €7.24bn also just ahead of the estimates

Germany sells up to €5bn in 2 year notes at 11:30, while Portugal sells bills and Sweden sells Sek3.5bn in bonds

UBS was aware of a $3.6bn ‘black hole’ by the ‘rogue trader’ as much as six weeks before his arrest, as he continues his defence that his practices were known by his superiors and were part of the culture of the trading unit

S&P 500 Companies Reporting

General Mills Inc, Q1, 0.625,  AutoZone Inc, Q4, 8.412,  Adobe Systems Inc, Q3, 0.585,  Bed Bath & Beyond Inc, Q2, 1.018

S&P 500 Ex Dividends (gross):- Chubb Corp/The, CB, (.41),  Coventry Health Care Inc, CVH, (.125), Equity Residential, EQR, (.3375),  Fifth Third Bancorp, 316773209, (2.125)

Major US Stock Movers After Hours

Denison Mines stated after hours that nothing undisclosed caused market gains intraday of as much as 19% at one stage

US Market News

Morgan Stanley details that it bought more than 2% of Facebook shares through the $16bn offering, the stock is down around 40% from its issue price and ranks as the worst performing large tech stock IPO ever

Knight Trading details that its head of algorithms has left the firm, with a spokesman stating that this was unrelated to the recent trading error which nearly bankrupted the firm

US homes starts are seen gaining in August to highs not seen for around 4 years as residential property continues to recover despite the troubled wider economy

Google has joined a lobbying group, which already contains the likes of Amazon and Facebook, as the industry pushes back on increased regulation on online privacy

Goldman details that David Viniar is to retire as CFO at Goldman’s at the end of the year, currently he is the longest serving CFO on Wall Street

S&P revises its outlook on New Jersey to negative from stable

Apple announces today a proposal to end the EU price fixing probe on e-books

Overnight Market News

Japan Airlines has started trading at Y3810 after its IPO price at Y3790, the second largest IPO in the world this year, just three years after its bankruptcy filing

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has reportedly walked away from a plan to expand into Hong Kong after failing to agree on a price for a local bank

Bloomberg details on how some Chinese buyers are thinking twice about buying Japanese products on fear they will become targets for the hate mobs, and highlights how some have even suggested that the current turmoil could end up costing the Japanese economy more than the tsunami, it also emerges that the US ambassador’s car was slightly damaged by protestors as it entered the embassy grounds

ThaiBev gained after Heineken states that it has been given the go ahead of its planned purchase by billionaire stakeholder Sirivadhanabhakdi

FX Summary

The Bank of Japan details that it has extended its asset purchase fund to 55tn yen in an unexpected move, causing Japanese stocks to gain, and pulled the yen lower, down to four week lows against the dollar

S&P today affirms its AAA rating on Australia and keeps its stable outlook

Commodity Summary

Bloomberg details how platinum holdings have gained over 9% this year, ahead of gains in holding in gold ETFs, and up to a fresh record high as international safe haven buying demand stays strong

Economic Data Due

09:30 UK Bank of England Minutes

13:30 US August Housing Starts, 765k exp. 746k previous

15:00 US August August Existing Home Sales, 4.56m exp. 4.47m previous

Economic Events

Fed’s Lacker speaks in New York

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