Shares in London’s FTSE 100 index are trading 0.3% higher at 6,384 points ahead of the US central bank’s interest rate meeting later today.
This came despite part state-owned lender Lloyds Banking (LLOY) falling 4.5% to 73.8p on underlying profits falling 8% year-on-year to £2 billion in the three months to 30 September, slightly below the £2.1 billion expected. The performance of its commercial division has been blamed for the fall. The bank has put a further £500 million aside to compensate those it mis-sold payment protection insurance to.
Meanwhile, Barclays (BARC) dips slightly by 0.4% to 249.9p after ending weeks of speculation by naming former JP Morgan (JPM:NYSE) investment banker James Staley as chief executive. He starts in December.
British American Tobacco (BATS) helps the blue chip FTSE 100 index higher, gaining 1.8% to £38.62. Revenue declined 6.5% on currency weakness in emerging markets but market share increased in its key Global Drive Brands which include Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall. Chief executive Nicandro Duarte says the business in good shape to hit full year targets on a constant currency basis.
Aerospace and defence specialist Meggitt (MGGT) declines sharply on the back of a profit warning. The £2.74 billion cap slumps 23.3% to 354.4p after reporting that third quarter trading was below expectations, due to a marked deterioration in September.
A strong surge in revenue on the back of a strong performance across all its divisions sees Braemar Shipping Services (BMS) adding 4.4% to 451.4p after half-year results show turnover at the £135.9 million cap rising to £79.6 million from £64.5 million in the same period a year earlier.
Trinity Mirror (TNI) jumps 8.8% to 174.7p on buying the 80% of Local World for £154.4 million, transforming the business into the UK’s largest regional publisher. The deal is being financed by cash, debt and a £35.4 million placing at 158p a share – a 1.6% discount.
High street clothing colossus Next (NXT) cheapens 1.1% to £78.60 on profit-taking following an in-line third quarter trading statement. Next raises the low end of its full-year pre-tax profit guidance, though a better-than-projected retail sales performance is offset by a weaker-than-anticipated full-price performance from Next Directory.
Beer brewer and running Play of the Week SABMiller (SAB) froths up 33.5p to £39.50 as it agrees with AB InBev (BUD:NYSE) to extend the deadline to complete the terms of their £68 billion mega-merger until 4 November.
Personalised medicine specialist Epistem (EHP: AIM) falls 4.8% to 147.5p on losses almost doubling to £4 million in the year to 30 June. Increasing R&D spend on its technology is behind the rise.
Bombed-out Israeli tailor Bagir (BAGR:AIM) rebounds 3.45% to 3.75p on the appointment of Eran Itzhak as new CEO. Itzhak, instrumental in the micro cap's wider recovery plan and future strategy, takes over from Danny Taragan next month.
Disclosure: The author of the paragraph on British American Tobacco owns shares in the company.