Date: Thursday 14 Jun 2012
Markets have reacted positively in the main to the outcome of the Italian bond auction on Thursday morning, which saw yields rise fairly steeply.
Italy issued a total of €4.5bn of debt in three, seven, and eight-year bonds. It matched its issuance target but had to pay higher yields than on the previous occasion.
The eight-year bonds yielded a rate of 6.13% compared to 5.33% in the prior auction. The yield on the seven-year bond rose to 6.10% from the prior 5.21% and three-year bonds rose to 5.3% from 3.91%.
Markets had been antsy about the auction after Moody's downgrade of Spanish sovereign debt by three notches.
On the corporate front, it looks like the Football Association (FA) has been declared the winner in the negotiations over television rights for footie matches from the top division of English football.
British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), which more or less built its business in the UK on live football, is paying the FA £2.3bn to broadcast live 116 matches over a three year period, starting from the 2013-14 season. The shares are sharply lower this morning, with Numis Securities reacting to the cost of the deal by downgrading BSkyB to "add", although Citi is sticking with its "buy" recommendation.
Video-on-demand player BT, the telecoms giant, has paid a pretty penny to muscle in on the Premiership action, paying £738m for the right to broadcast 38 games, around half of which it will be allowed to cherry-pick before Sky. BT is also lower, though its fall is not so severe as that experienced by Sky.
After swooning late yesterday afternoon commodities producer and trader Glencore is on the slide again, along with its proposed merger partner Xstrata. Concerns persist about the proposed merger, which is dependent on shareholders giving the thumbs-up to an eye-popping package of incentives for top executives at Xstrata. Given the slap in the face shareholders gave to the WPP board yesterday as they protested at executive pay, there may be trouble ahead for the combination wags have dubbed 'Glenstrata'.
Irish oil titan Tullow Oil is off the pace after France blocked drilling off the coast of French Guyana on environmental grounds. Tullow, along with Shell and French operator Total has made significant discoveries in the region.
WH Smith, the High Street and travel hub newsagent chain, saw like-for-like sales dip at the start of the second half of its financial year, but the shares rose as the group revealed margins are up.
European IT services provider Computacenter crashed after it warned it will be required to invest significantly over the remainder of the year to cope with increased business levels.
Computacenter Chief Executive Officer Mike Norris said: "While we highlighted the necessity for investment in our statement of April 18th, both the size and scope of the opportunities we have won have increased significantly, requiring us to invest further."
Fashion firm Mulberry also got a handbagging from the market after sparkling figures were deemed to be sup-par. UK full price stores saw like-for-like rise 14% for the 10 weeks to June 9th 2012. Revenue of £168.5m was about £7m short of market expectations, however, while pre-tax profit of £6m was around £1.5m below what the market had been expecting.
Design and engineering consultancy WS Atkins said it had performed well over the last year despite tough conditions and was boosting its dividend. The company reported revenues up 9.4% to £1.7bn in the year to the end of March, with earnings per share up 5% to 7.9p. Pre-tax profits were up 48% to £135.5m, although this included the sale of its UK asset management business, which netted £7.2m.
First quarter revenues and profits were down at electronics components supplier Premier Farnell, but the group said sales are stabilising. Total revenue in the February to April quarter was down 5.0% at £241.0m from £252.5m the year before.
It is business as usual at advertising conglomerate WPP, a day after shareholders delivered a massive rebuke to the board at the firm's annual general meeting, with 60% of votes cast against the remuneration package and a sizeable minority also voting against the re-election of the Chairman, Philip Lader.
The company is back on the acquisition trail, snaffling up 87% of media intelligence and monitoring group Press Index, triggering an offer for the rest of the shares at €6.81. The terms value Press Index at about €11.2m, which is barely a year's wages to WPP's boss, Sir Martin Sorrell.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Polymetal International (POLY) 804.00p +1.07%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 224.30p +0.81%
British Land Co (BLND) 485.90p +0.70%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 609.00p +0.66%
Barclays (BARC) 189.50p +0.64%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 176.45p +0.54%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 649.00p +0.54%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 2,700.00p +0.54%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 117.20p +0.51%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 547.80p +0.51%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 647.00p -6.97%
GKN (GKN) 175.60p -3.68%
Glencore International (GLEN) 343.25p -3.31%
Xstrata (XTA) 895.60p -2.65%
BT Group (BT.A) 203.60p -2.63%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,448.00p -2.62%
Evraz (EVR) 253.80p -2.57%
Man Group (EMG) 70.15p -2.57%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,206.00p -2.39%
IMI (IMI) 824.50p -2.37%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Petropavlovsk (POG) 454.60p +10.64%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 834.00p +5.10%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 186.20p +3.79%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 702.00p +3.62%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 75.55p +3.49%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 163.30p +3.22%
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 173.80p +3.21%
Synergy Health (SYR) 906.50p +3.01%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 28.37p +2.98%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 168.70p +2.93%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Computacenter (CCC) 310.00p -13.09%
Ruspetro (RPO) 128.00p -7.91%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 345.00p -6.25%
Bumi (BUMI) 313.60p -4.97%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 423.70p -4.36%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 133.70p -3.81%
Genus (GNS) 1,215.00p -3.19%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 425.00p -3.03%
Lamprell (LAM) 75.55p -3.02%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 601.00p -2.36%
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