Date: Tuesday 04 Sep 2012
London's Footsie is expected to open just a few points lower than yesterday's close of 5,758 after Moody's lowered the European Union's outlook.
Credit ratings agency Moody's last night maintained the EU's 'Aaa' rating but lowered its outlook for the region from 'stable' to 'negative' to reflect "the negative outlooks now assigned to the Aaa sovereign ratings of key contributors to the EU budget: Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands, which together account for around 45% of the EU's budget revenue".
Stocks raced ahead yesterday on speculation that central banks across the globe are close to unveiling a new round of stimulus measures to boost growth. In particular, disappointing manufacturing data from China sparked hopes that policy-makers will act to prevent a hard-landing, prompting sharp rises in London's mining sector.
UK retail sales values were down by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis in August as compared to 2011, when they were down 0.6% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.6%, against a 1.5% rise in August 2011, according to the latest data released today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG.
The construction sector purchasing managers´ index is due for release at 09:30.
Stateside investors will be closely watching this afternoon´s ISM manufacturing sector survey results for last month.
JP Morgan Cazenove has downgraded its recommendation on shares of Barclays to neutral from outperform.
Nicholas Cadbury is defecting from electronic components supplier Premier Farnell to become the new Group Finance Director of Whitbread, the Costa Coffee and Premier Inns owner. Cadbury will succeed Christopher Rodgers as chief bean counter at Whitbread, with Rodgers moving on to become Managing Director of Costa Coffee. Cadbury will be given a place on the Whitbread board when he joins the company on a date yet to be determined.
Record results from Genus, the animal genetics company, topped full-year sales and profits expectations on the back of strong performances in Asia, North America and Latin America. Revenue in the year to June 30th rose 10%, or 12% in constant currency (CC) terms, to £341.8m from £309.9m the year before. The market had been expecting revenue of around £333.2m.
FTSE 250 precious metals miner African Barrick Gold (ABG) has announced that it has formed a 'Transaction Committee' as it prepares for a potential offer from China's largest gold producer, China National Gold Group. As announced on August 16th, Barrick Gold, the US holding company of ABG, is in talks with China Gold about the possibility of selling its 73.9% stake in the London-listed miner.
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