1630:Close UK stocks got the week off to a decent start, lifted by gains in the US after Fed Chair Janet Yellen smoothed over concerns about the impact of monetary stimulus tapering on emerging markets. Bunzl climbed on the back of positive full-year results, while Vodafone shares
were higher following the completion of the Verizon Wireless deal. RSA, Associated British Foods and HSBC were the biggest three fallers of the session. Macro wise, January Eurozone CPI was revised slightly higher, to reveal a gain of 0.8 per cent year-on-year (consensus: 0.7 per cent), while the German Ifo business climate index surprised to the upside, having gained to 111.3 in February. The FTSE 100 closed up 27.80 points at 6,865.86.
1608: Kiev equity benchmark up 15 per cent on hopes for international financial aid.
1548: Shares of Centrica are continuing to try and make headway against technical resistance in the form of their primary downtrend line.
1542: Commenting on the outlook for Vodafone, analysts at Deutsche Bank point out that adjusting for the costs associated with 'Project Spring' and 3bn pounds of incremental capital expenditure the mobile telecommunications firm is trading at 5.8 times´ forecast EBITDA for 2014, in line with the rest of the sector. However, the shares warrant a 'premium' in their opinion given the wider scope for an increase in cash returns, exposure to a recovery in Gross Domestic Product and the potential for a bid from AT&T. Today also marks the first day of the World Mobile Congress, in Barcelona, Spain.
1422: Shares of Centamin are running higher by over 11 per cent and there seems to be little in their way until technical resistance at about 60p. The Egyptian government is redrafting laws relating to deals with companies/investors to prevent third party challenges, of which there have been many due to changes in governments, Reuters reports.
1354: Oriel Securities said troubled baby goods retailer Mothercare could face a takeover bid after Chief Executive Simon Calver unexpectedly quit. Oriel also advised investors to reduce their stakes in the company, saying it was likely to take Calver's successor a while to turn around the business.
1352: Analysts at RBC Capital Markets have raised Severn Trent to 'sector perform' from 'underperform'.
1307: US semiconductor maker RF Microdevices is to purchase Triquint for 9.73 dollars per share. Another American outfit, Men´s Wearhouse, has upped its offer price for Jos. A. Bank. FTSE 100 down 19 to 6,819.
1154: Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has unexpectedly announced the resignation of his government, the BBC reports.
1122: Credit Suisse raises target price on ABF as well, to 2,600p from 2,400p.
1107: Canaccord Genuity cuts HSBC price target to 750p from 825p.
1057: Commenting on today´s trading update from Associated British Foods analysts at Panmure Gordon highlight that on their estimates currency headwinds will take circa 5 per cent off the company´s earnings in fiscal year 2014, which will offset the strong trading seen in Primark, for which it has upgraded its foerecasts. In line with the above, the broker trimmed its fiscal year 2015 estimates for earnings per share, to 109p, to reflect "a full-year of currency and sugar price weakness". Despite the above, Panmure Gordon raised its price target on the shares to 2,760p from 2,500p beforehand.
1007: Dixons Retail is in talks to merge with Carphone Warehouse, Bloomberg reports. FTSE 100 down 33 to 6,805.
1000: The Eurozone´s Consumer Price Index for the month of January has been revised higher to a reading of 0.8 per cent (consensus: 0.7 per cent) from the preliminary print of 0.7 per cent. The revision was in line with forecasts from Credit Suisse but was a tenth of a percentage point higher than expected by consensus. The Swiss broker, however, sees CPI slipping to an 0.6 per cent pace in February. Preliminary data for February was to be released on Friday.
0917: Pre-tax profits at HSBC rose 9 per cent in 2013 to 22.5bn dollars (consensus: 24.6bn dollars) as the company continued to slash costs and jobs in its drive to reduce operating expenses.
0900: The German IFO business confidence index rose unexpectedly in February, to stand at 111.3 (consensus: 110.5), led by a surge in the current conditions index. The euro/dollar has sprung higher in its immediate aftermath, to 1.3761.
0844: Stocks have begun the session moving slightly lower, weighed down by the drop in shares of HSBC after the lender released its latest set of full-year results. RSA is also off, on the heels of a report that it may be contemplating an 800m pound fund-raising, more than some other recent estimates which had been bandied about. Bunzl is headed in the other direction after unveiling an 18 per cent rise in 2013 operating profits to reach 414m pounds, boosted by acquisitions. The focus of today´s session will be the latest reading on Eurozone consumer prices and the German IFO business confidence index. FTSE 100 down 12 to 6,826.