City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open up nine points from yesterday's close of 5,883, tracking small gains seen overnight in the US which came thanks to a late rally, although trading was volatile as investors showed caution ahead of a busy week on the corporate earnings front.
UK investors appear to be lacking direction somewhat at the moment, following various middle of the road economic announcements of late. As such, it is likely attention will continue to focus on corporate earnings in the US, with companies such as DuPont, 3M, United Technologies and UPS expected to release their latest results today. As well, Apple will launch its new mini i-Pad.
In after-hours action shares
of Texas Instruments fell 0.32% -on weak fourth quarter guidance- while those of Yahoo shot up by 4.57%.
The main piece of economic data due out is the Eurozone's consumer confidence indicator, which is expected at 10:00.
Back in the UK, the BBA publishes lending data for September at 9:30.
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King is speaking in Cardiff at 20:00.
In company news, sales and profits at chip designer ARM Holdings beat expectations in the third quarter and the firm's outlook was upbeat, as it has entered the final stretch of the fiscal year with a record order backlog and robust opportunity pipeline. The semiconductor intellectual property group said that total revenue in the three months to September 30th rose 20% in sterling terms from £120.2m to £144.6m, ahead of the consensus estimate of £140m. Licensing revenues rose 17%, while royalties surged 30%, compared with last year.
Food manufacturer Premier Foods said underlying sales rose two per cent in the third quarter, as full year expectations remain unchanged. The St Albans-based group it has made significant progress in stabilising and cleaning up the business while delivering against its growth strategies. While the economic, trading and consumer environment remains challenging, the company's full year expectations remain unchanged," the group said in a statement.
Grey Group, the global communications network of Sir Martin Sorrell's advertising and media giant WPP, is to buy a majority stake in the Chinese communications agency, ArtM Communications. ArtM was founded in 1999 and has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen and Guangzhou. Employing around 180 people and with a client portfolio including Intel, Microsoft, TCL and China Mobile, the company provides advertising, branding, digital marketing, public relations, events, retail marketing, merchandising and channel promotion.
Questor in The Telegraph says that infrastructure fund HICL is worth its place in a portfolio for the long-term income stream it offers. HICL's management is targeting a dividend this year of about 7p, up from 6.85p last year. This leaves the shares trading on a prospective yield of about 5.6pc. The last portfolio update in March showed the group had a net asset value of 112.8p, so the shares are trading at a premium. However, when the next portfolio valuation is released, Questor expects this premium to reduce. First tipped at 109½p in June 2009, the shares remain a buy for the company's long-term income stream, although they have risen 13% since the tip. Such funds should show capital appreciation over time as well. Questor last recommended a purchase in May when the shares stood at 117.6p.
Analysts at Citi have labelled Tate&Lyle a "most preferred stock."