European Indexes Advance
Late in Tuesday's session, the sun was shining from across the Atlantic onto the Square Mile, helping the FTSE 100 reverse early losses. In the US, August's ISM manufacturing index was in line with expectations. Among UK stocks, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL was 2.29% to the good, after positive broker comments, while DRAX (+2.03%) was feeling an upwards breeze after Citi reportedly upgraded the stock. ALLIANCE & LEICESTER (-0.38%) slipped on a UBS downgrade, despite saying it has no direct exposure to US sub-prime lending. STANDARD LIFE (-0.74%) reported better-than-expected first half figures and said it is on track to meet its target of 9-10% return on EV in 2007. Miner KAZAKHMYS (+2.16%) was a top performer, after posting a 26% rise in interim earnings, better than expected. It announced a share buyback program of up to US$400 million, a special dividend of US$235 million and an interim divdend of US$64 million. In the broader market, BRIT INSURANCE (-3.11%) was under the cosh after warning the near-term outlook is positive but challenging. TULLOW OIL (+5.46%) was rallying on an upbeat statement. HAYS (-3.12%) was weighed down by a 17 million share placement. The company unveiled fiscal pretax profit of £211.7 million. Pub group GREENE KING (+0.59%) kept profit expectations for fiscal unchanged, despite recent unseasonal weather. PREMIER FOODS (+2.29%) said it has seen a good start to second half sales.
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