The market buzzes marginally higher in opening trade in London with a mixture of industrials and engineers setting the tone, while many investors eyes will be turning to Ofcom's early findings over UK broadband investment, with early indicators that it will not force leading player BT (BT.A) to spin-off its Openreach national infrastructure network. Investors welcome the news, shares in the telco giant among the best performing Footsie stocks, up 3.2% at 399.95p.
Housebuilders are again the obvious casualties among the blue-chips. 'Globally, investors are likely to adopt a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the start of the US Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting this afternoon,' comments Beaufort analysts Barry Gibb, 'although most are expecting it to indicate the need for a period of post-Brexit data collecting before judging its next move, for which the hot money presently appears to be pointing at September.
The FTSE 100 index nudges a little more than 20 points higher, or about 0.3%, to 6,729, although midcaps are on the backfoot, the FTSE 250 easing off around 0.2% at 17,051.
Auto engineer GKN (GKN) heads the Footsie leader board, adding 3.5% to 300p, while Berkeley (BRK) heads a collection of housebuilders on the loser board, off 2.9% at £25.51, closely tracked by peers Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and Barratt (BDEV).
Elsewhere, beer brewing giant SABMiller (SAB) adds 45.5p (1.1%) to £44.87 as Anheuser Busch Inbev (BUD:NYSE) improves its takeover offer 'in light of recent exchange rate volatility and market movements', a plunging pound and the buyer's share price strength having stoked activist interest in SABMiller of late.
High-end carbonated mixers marvel Fevertree Drinks (FEVR:AIM) perks up 2.5p to 810p on interims demonstrating plenty of growth fizz, sales up almost 70% to £40.6 million as the AIM star rides the global trend for premium spirits. Pre-tax profit is up 75% at £12.15 million and there's also a 97% hike in the dividend to 1.54p to keep investors happy.
Baby food-to-bubble bath supplier PZ Cussons (PZC) rises 3.4p to 324.5p as steady full-year results come in slightly ahead of forecasts, testing conditions in Nigeria countered by strong underlying trading in Europe and Asia.
Carpets manufacturer Victoria (VCP:AIM) weaves 8.1% higher to £11.98 on stellar finals boosted by the acquisitions of Quest Carpets and Interfloor. Executive chairman Geoff Wilding assures that 'the strong revenue performance achieved in the UK and Australia has continued post-period end. The group have seen no drop off in demand for their products since the EU referendum in June and Victoria has enjoyed a strong start to the current financial year.'
More to come...