FTSE100 up by 0.3%. Near 7-week high
Leading movers include Serco – shares are now down 3.5% on news it is expanding the number of shares in circulation. BSkyB is up almost 4% on good subscriber numbers but the real winner now is Lloyds, whose shares are 4.5% higher following results.
In early trade, the FTSE100 was up 19.56 points at 6,799.59 and the FTSE250 ahead 117.62 points at 15,934.82.
Investors made a modestly confident start to the new month, faced with another flurry of blue chip earnings.
Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) advanced 2.37p to 77.73p after it said that underlying profit and returns substantially increased in the first quarter to end-March. Underlying profit increased 22% to £1.8bn. Fund manager Schroders climbed 51p to 2,607p when it said it has made a strong start to 2014, with profit before tax and exceptional items up 14% to £130.7m, with net inflows £3.8bn.
Broadcaster BSkyB jumped 33.5p to 913.5p as it reported adjusted revenue growth was 7% and this, together with continued discipline on costs, allowed it to deliver adjusted EBITDA of £1.223bn, down only 2.4%, despite connected services investment and the uplift in Premier League amortisation. Morrisons raised the stakes in the supermarket price war, announcing a raft of price cuts.
Morrisons shares edged up 0.05p to 200.95p on the news, while rivals Sainsbury and Tesco fell 11.6p to 324.1p and 5.03p to 287.92p, respectively.
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) improved 7.5p at 1,639.5p after announcing it has received US FDA approval for its Incruse Ellipta medication, which targets patients with COPD.
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