UK stocks have posted moderate gains this morning as bulls search for a 4th consecutive day of gains, and will be buoyed to see the market hold firm over the weekend given the shocking performance of the previous two Monday’s. Of course we have a long way to go still, and with very little in the way of data to come for the rest of the day the general sentiment becomes even more crucial, which feels distinctly healthier than this time last week. Weekend commentary from Energy secretary Ed Davey has pegged back Utility firms this morning, making them the worst performing sector in the FTSE by mid-morning. Davey wrote to regulators to attack the profit margins of the big energy firms gas supply units, especially in the context of spiralling bills for consumers. Centrica stock dipped near 3% on the news. Not a week seems to go by without another bank getting in hot water with the FCA, with this morning’s headlines putting Barclays under scrutiny for failing to protect client information. Thousands of files confidential client data were apparently stolen and sold on to boiler room scams that prey on vulnerable savers. No doubt a hefty fine will be imposed if all is as it seems so far, which lines up behind a probe into payments to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund during the financial crisis. CEO Antony Jenkins has already waived his 2013 bonus in light of recent penalties, and it looks like we haven’t seen the last of it yet. Vodafone have attempted to boost revenues and eat into its huge cash pile from the Verizon deal by bidding E7bln for Spanish cable company Ono. The firm is already in talks with Liberty Global about a possible deal, but Vodafone could have a bit too much firepower if any bidding war emerged. The move will be welcomed as a sign of intent on the one hand, but still leaves Vodafone heavily reliant on a flagging Europe having lost their major revenue source outside the zone in the Verizon deal. Hyder consulting nosedived over 25% on the bell after issuing a profit warning this morning, with delays to contracts and project delays suffocating numbers. The firm remained upbeat on the outlook, with a strong pipeline of projects from the new Australian governments focus on infrastructure, albeit slower than original expectations. Catlin group moved higher after reporting a 27% hike in full year profit, with premiums on the up and claims for natural disasters lower than expected, dropping to $156m from $225m the year previous. The Insurer also raised its annual dividend to 49.8 cents per share. CMC Markets is an execution only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.