- PRE-OPEN REPORT: The headline index is tipped to open around thirty points higher this morning, according to financial websites, taking a lead from positive moves in New York and across Asian bourses overnight.

The British Retail Consortium reports that UK retail sales values were up 2.7% on a like-for-like basis from February 2012.


In the US last night, the Dow rose 38 points at 14,128, the Nasdaq Composite added 12 points at 3,182 and the S&P500 gained 7 points at 1,525.

In Asia today, the Nikkei was recently up 50 points at 11,702 and the Hang Seng ahead 22 points at 22,560.

WTI crude oil traded at $90.29 a barrel and Brent crude at $110.09.

Gold settled at $1,754 an ounce.


In the corporate diary today, interim results are due from Abcam, Ashtead Group, Hargreaves Services and Interior Services Group.

Final results are scheduled from 4Imprint Group, Breedon Aggregates, Johnson Service Group, Macfarlane Group, Meggitt, John Menzies, MHP, Michael Page International, Group, OAO Severstal, Pace, Paddy Power, Regus, Rotork, Serco Group, Total Produce, Tullett Prebon, John Wood Group and Zotefoams.

Blackrock Frontiers Investment Trust hosts its AGM.

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