Europe drifts lower ahead of US GDP
A healthy US close passed the baton to Europe in the green, but yet again we have failed to hold on to the head start, with stocks heading lower to highlight a growing gap in sentiment across the Atlantic. Europe has seemed unable to drive on without U.S confirmation for much of the week, with today being the 4th consecutive session where we have moved notably lower from the opening bell. So bulls will be looking stateside again for a helping hand this afternoon and a beat from US GDP would be a good start.
IAG stock was in descent this morning despite returning to profit for 2013 and bettering forecasts. British Airways led the way, with newest acquisition Vueling boosting numbers as well. Operating losses at Iberia also narrowed, dropping to 166m from 185m the year previous and while the numbers still make for poor reading, IAG remains confident its turnaround plan is working for the Spanish carrier.
William Hill has proved a great bet for investors this morning, up over 3% on the open after reporting operating profits of 335m for 2013, up 3% on the year previous. The firm announced a 20m cost cutting plan to offset a new tax regime for online gambling in December, but managed to put a positive spin on the levy by indicating it could well position them with a greater market share as smaller providers are squeezed out of the market. The combination of numbers and comments have Ladbrokes hanging on to their coattails, who are also up in early deals.
Serco and Aggreko headed in opposite directions this morning after the former announced Aggreko CEO Rupert Soames will fill the same post from June 1st. Serco have been under temporary leadership since Christopher Hyman left in October and investors have clearly welcomed the chance for a fresh start, with the stock up near 10% on the release.
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