Friday, June 25, 2010

London open: Healthy start for blue chips

Date: Friday 25 Jun 2010

London has shrugged off Dow Jones' triple-digit fall overnight and made decent headway this morning.

Banks are higher after a jam-packed financial stability report from the Bank of England that covered everything from savings ratios to the threat of the eurozone. The market sems to have focused on the comment that any introduction of new capital and liquidity rules will be staggered, possibly over five years. 
Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered and HSBC are doing best this morning.
BP has spent another $350,000 (£234,000) on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster since Monday, taking the total cost to date up to $2.35bn (£1.57bn) and the number of people dealing with the response effort to some 37,000.

Anglo-Swedish drugs group 
AstraZeneca said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reset the decision date for its review of Astra’s motavizumab drug to August 27. An FDA panel had raised concerns about the respiratory disease treatment in a statement released on 2 June.

Berkeley reports the housing market in London and the South East has stabilised as it reported better than expected full-year figures. Pre-tax profit dropped 8.4% to £110.3m in the year ended 30 April, on sales of £615.3m compared with £702.2m last year. The market expected Berkeley to announce pre-tax profits in the region of £104.4m on sales of £587m.

Ground preparation engineer 
Keller reports no pick-up in its struggling US business, but on a more optimistic note it hasn't seen any further deterioration either so the shares are higher this morning.
It’s a case of 'carry on as you were' at laundry and workwear group Davis Servicewhich continues to trade in line with expectations. Revenues continue to show little change from last year's levels while margins continue to improve.

Sausage skin maker 
Devro has made a stronger than expected finish to the first half of the year. The group told the market in May trading was ahead of expectations, but today reported continuing progress in sales, pricing, volume growth and manufacturing efficiency since then.

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