“Blue-chips edged into positive territory in lunchtime trading as the pound fell further against the US dollar after the UK trade gap jumped in November following a surge in imports,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey expects full-year profits to be at the top end of forecasts after an increase in completions and an 11% rise in the average selling price to £255,000. The group’s net private reservation rate was 0.72 homes per outlet per week against 0.73 in 2015 and cancellation rates remained low at 13%, one percentage up on the previous 12 months. Taylor Wimpey has seen a fall in the year-end order book from £1.8bn to £1.7bn which is due to a small drop in the average selling price largely due to a number of high value Central London completions in December.
“Cineworld is set to hit full-year forecasts after a record-breaking year at the box office. The group passed the milestone of 100 million people coming through the door to watch a movie in 2016, boosting revenues by 8.3% on a constant currency basis. The group operates 226 sites with 2,115 screens and will continue its strategic expansion and renovation plans this year with 13 new sites scheduled to open and several major refurbishments.
“International support services and construction group Interserve led the FTSE All-Share Index at lunchtime after confirming that overall trading has remained in line with guidance and expectations for full-year headline results are unchanged. Strong international construction and equipment services results have broadly offset a disappointing performance in UK construction and the net debt position is set to be better than previously guided at £270m-£280m.”
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