European Indexes Post Modest Gains
The FTSE 100 gave up all gains, but managed to close above break-even. Wall Street was trading flat as weak Microsoft shares and credit woes weighed. At home, miners and energy stocks limited the downside, as red hot metal prices and a scorching WTI supported the respective sectors. Copper gained on a strike in Peru, while gold climbed - tracking oil. WTI jumped to US$96.67/bbl on a weak US$ and supply woes. In earnings, MARKS & SPENCER (+4.59%) dished out an 11.5% rise in first half adjusted pretax profit and announces a £1 billion share buyback program. AB FOODS (-2.85%) reported fiscal adjusted pretax profit in line with forecasts, but said high commodity costs will pressure margins. YELL (+1.41%) unveiled ahead-of-forecast first half adjusted EBITDA, but slipped on profit-taking. JD WETHERSPOON (-3.39%) said first quarter like-for-like fell 1%, adding that it is cautious over the outlook. INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS (-1.81%) posted a 22% rise in third quarter operating profit, saying it is positive on the outlook for the rest of the year. In the property sector, LIBERTY INTL's (+0.35%) nine months adjusted earnings rose 10%. BOVIS HOMES (+1.01%) said autumn sales have been lower than expected and 2007 volumes are expected to be marginally down.
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