1215: Analysts at Investec have lowered their price target on shares of Pearson to 1,190p from 1,240p.
1042: Prime Minister David Cameron will deliver his speech on the UK’s EU membership on Wednesday, Downing Street has announced.
1024: French luxury goods maker Richemont has today announced that sales in the latest quarter were flat in the Asia Pacific region, even if that follows on several years of exceptional growth, in particular in China. To be had in account are the demanding comparative figures for the same quarter last year. As well, wholesale sales growth was lower than in the first six months and in the comparative period due to the cautious approach taken by the Group’s retail partners in Hong Kong and mainland China. Its stock is now down by 6 per cent, the most of any within the DJ Stoxx 600 and weighing on peers such as Burberry.
0855: Analysts at Goldman Sachs have upped their view on shares of Admiral to buy from neutral, while at the same time raising their price target on its shares to 1,500 from 1,160 before. As an aside, it may be worth keeping tabs on the 0.84 level in the Euro/Sterling cross. The pair is ‘oversold’ but markets are watching it. The FT Money yesterday called attention to what might happen should haven flows to the UK be significantly reduced. FTSE 100 up 15 to 6,170.
0820: The UK equity benchmark has begun the day slightly higher, led by gains in shares of Admiral and IAG. The latter has been upgraded to outperform (although Citi has downgraded it to neutral, from buy). Pearson is the worst performer now on the Footsie, after forecasting a flat operating profit for 2012. It has taken over from Meggitt, which has taken a hit from the heavy news flow (Bloomberg, FT, Times) regarding the Boeing 787s woes. More specifically, The Times apparently referenced a 2006 article over the weekend regarding a November 2006 fire at Securaplane Technologies, which supplies the B787 battery charger unit (BCU). Securaplane was acquired by Meggitt in 2011. Nevertheless, analysts at Jefferies are this morning stressing to clients that ‘we emphasise that nobody yet knows what caused the electrical fires on the Boeing 787 that resulted in the grounding of the aircraft. We are aware, however, that attention has focused on the aircraft’s Lithium-ion battery pack and upon the process of re-charging the pack.’ FTSE 100 up 21 to 6,175.