“The FTSE100 edged into positive territory in early trading with investors keeping their powder dry ahead of the UK's consumer-price and producer-price indices, which are due out mid-morning. Attention will also focus on the country's retail-price and house-price indices, along with public-sector net borrowing and CBI industrial order expectations,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“House-builder Bellway had record first half earnings and the group is poised for further growth. Customer demand remains strong and the average selling price for the full year is expected to rise to around £260,000 from £252,793 last time. Operating margins have improved and the forward order book is 18% up on a year ago at £1,415.4m.
“EnQuest’s shares were up in early trading after full-year profits and earnings rose despite a fall in revenues. Production rose by 8.7% to an average of 39,751 barrels of oil equivalent per day while operating costs fell to $24.6 per barrel compared with $29.7 in 2015. Development of the Kraken field in the North Sea continues to be under budget and on track for first oil in the second quarter. EnQuest’s shares were up more than 3.0% in early trading.
“Online gaming entertainment and solutions provider 888's shares rose after double-digit increases in revenue and earnings in 2016, despite currency headwinds. Current trading remains healthy with average daily revenue more than 11% above the previous year on a constant currency basis. 888’s share were up by over 7.8%.”
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