UK stocks are actually climbing for the first time in three days, thanks largely at this stage to ex...
UK stocks are actually climbing for the first time in three days, thanks largely at this stage to expectations of a profit for P&O.
The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co has seen its share price rise7.75p or 5.3% to 153p already this morning, pushing the FTSE 100 up a fraction to 3569.3, as initial indications are there will be a profit in 2003 compared with the second-half loss last year.
Positive news for Arriva, the bus and rail firm, also boosted its share price by 4.25p or 1.5% to 287.25 after reporting full-year profit rose 61% thanks to its expansion of the bus division.
Rexam , the maker of drinks cans, is also up 10.25p or 3% to 348p as it plans to raise prices for European and US customers.
On the other side of the market, Amec is down 2.3% to 188p as second-half profit fell 76% and Rathbone Brothers, the UK money manager, is down 1.1% to 437.5p after pre-tax profit dropped 11% last year.
Trading has not been as confident in Asia today, as all the major markets fell. A report from the US central bank yesterday suggested the prospect of war with Iraq is damaging consumer and business spending in the US.
This undoubtedly has an effect on Japanese stocks such as Sony, which rely heavily on the US market to make up a major chunk of its exports. But matters were made worse when a Japanese newspaper reported the North Koreans are preparing to launch a mid-range ballistic missile which is capable of striking Japan.
As a result, the Nikkei 225 ended the day down 1.2% to 8369.15 and South Korea's Kospi index lost 0.9% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 1.6%.
By contrast, all the markets closed up in the US yesterday. The Dow Jones gained 70.73 points or 0.92% to 7775.60 while the S&P 500 index rose 7.86 or 0.96% to 829.25 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 6.63 points or 0.51% to 1314.40.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till