The FTSE ended Thursday modestly higher on the back of strong corporate results from heavyweights in various sectors, including the likes of Shell, RBS and Astrazeneca. This was despite the US Federal Reserve’s decision to leave the door open to possible rate increases in September which, which could add to the pressure on the Bank of England to also make a move soon. There was another cloud looming on the horizon surrounding the new bailout for Greece as reports surfaced that the International Monetary Fund might not be able to give its backing to a new bailout for Greece as soon as some had been hoped. In company news, Royal Dutch Shell reported a 35% decline in adjusted quarterly profits to $3.8 billion though this was well ahead of estimates of $3.4 billion. The oil major also kept its dividend steady at $0.47 for both A and B shares. It also reported that it will be making 6,500 job cuts. Centrica also announced it will slash a net 4,000 jobs from its workforce, double the rumored amount, as it also almost doubled its first-half profit. The company, which said it was aiming to cost cuts by £750m a year by 2020, will cut back investment in oil and gas production by more than half. AstraZeneca was higher as second-quarter numbers came in better-than-forecast, with revenue and earnings per share both ahead of forecasts. Royal Bank of Scotland saw profits fall in the second quarter, as a result of lower income at its corporate and institutional banking unit after it was downsized and higher restructuring costs, but nevertheless numbers were ahead of market forecasts. BT was lower despite a solid set of first quarter results that were close to forecasts and left it on track to hit its full-year targets. Revenue of £4.28 billion was down 2% and a tiny 0.3% short of forecasts. The FTSE ended the session up by 37.87 points at 6,668.87.
The FTSE ended Thursday modestly higher on the back of strong corporate results from heavyweights in various sectors, including the likes of Shell, RBS and Astrazeneca.
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