European Indexes Higher

Better-than-expected results from U.S. names Oracle and Nike lifted sentiment

London

The FTSE 100 is modestly higher at mid-day, as better-than-expected results from US groups Oracle and Nike after the US closing bell help sentiment. The corporate agenda is thin today but triple witching, when September stock options, index options and future contracts expire, could add volatility. NORTHERN ROCK (+0.43%) remains in focus, albeit off its early highs, after The Times reports that RAB Capital, a hedge fund, has bought a 6% stake in the group. Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph says Northern Rock rejected an offer of emergency funding from JP Morgan. BG GROUP (+1.18%) attracts interest after a discovery in Brazil. Sticking with the sector, PREMIER OIL (+2.24%) rises following an upgrade to outperform at Credit Suisse. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL (+0.24%) will expand its Motiva Port Arthur refinery. AVIVA (+0.65%) announces that Tidjane Thiam, the group's executive director for Aviva Europe, has decided to resign in order to become PRUDENTIAL's (+2.04%) finance chief. VODAFONE's (+1.35%) CEO Arun Sarin is confident that the company will 'absolutely' get another chance in the next six to 12 months to receive a contract to distribute Apple's iPhone. FILTRONIC (+6.33%) jumps after it says sales from continuing operations for 1Q are ahead of the same period last year, while the company reiterates its intent to return cash to shareholders.

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