UK markets settle into modestly positive territory after initially bouncing about as investors generally welcome a flood of corporate earnings and trading updates. London's FTSE 100 index gains 38 points to 6,305 led by TUI Travel's (TT.) 3.5% rise to 360.9p, while the UK aero-engineering space is bolstered by upward moves by GKN (GKN) and Meggitt (MGGT).
Fallen online fashion star ASOS (ASC:AIM) recovers forward momentum by jumping 13% to £21.98 as full-year results to August come in slightly ahead of downgraded consensus. While pre-tax profits slump 14%, after a year of numerous disappointments, the company reiterates guidance of flat profits for this year. ASOS also unveils the appointment of numbers man Nick Beighton as Chief Operating Officer, freeing up CEO Nick Robertson to focus on strategy and growth.
Microprocessor group ARM (ARM) reports a a steady third quarter with revenues just short of the consensus forecasts. Dollar revenues were up 12% and the company confirms it remains on track to match full year expectations.
Aerospace and automotive engineer GKN is in demand after delivering higher third-quarter profit, off-setting a predicted slowdown for the rest of the year.
Aerospace and defence giant Meggitt edges higher after landing a multi-million dollar contract to supply an advanced wheel and braking system for Gulfstream Aerospace's new G500 and G600 business jets.
FTSE 100 drug-maker Shire (SHP) rises 2.6% to £38.49 as confirmation comes through of its near-£1 billion break clause pay-off after US pharma group AbbVie (ABBV:NYSE) recently pulled the plug on its planned £32 billion takeover.
Health, home and hygiene products giant Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) slides 2.3% to £49.97 after marginally missing third quarter expectations thanks to curreny headwinds. CEO Rakesh Kapoor now expects full-year sales growth at the lower end of the 4-5% range, given tougher markets and weakness across South East Asia and Latin America.
Flat bus passenger numbers fail to put the brakes on transport group Go-Ahead (GOG). Chief executive David Brown confirms that 'trading across the group has been robust and our expectations for the full year are unchanged.' The shares rise 3% to £25.20.
Sausage skin maker Devro (DVO) shows some sizzle, rising 2.4% to 241.25p on an encouraging third quarter trading statement. The running Shares Play of the Week flags two quarters of growing sales volumes, notably in China, Japan and Germany.
Clinical trial manager Venn Life Sciences (VENN:AIM) gains 5.4% to 19.2p as it secures a €1.2 million contract to manage a Phase IV clinical trial for an un-named pharmaceutical.
Smallcap recruiter Interquest (ITQ:AIM) surges 6% to 117p as it puts itself up for sale. In a statement, the business says its' growing business would benefit from being part of a larger group, giving it access to a broader platform to offer clients and candidates. Net fee income at Interquest increased 34% year-on-year in the first half of 2014.