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Today’s market overview

Shares are just clinging on to a positive start in London and The Trader Dominic Picarda remains optimistic, although rather than equities, gold has attracted his attention now.

IC TIP UPDATES:

Sell recommendation Carpetright (CPR) continues to battle against tough end market conditions, posting a 1.9 per cent drop in UK like for like sales in the 12 weeks to 20 July and total sales decline of 3.3 per cent in the UK market. Europe was even worse, posting a 10.6 per cent drop in like for like sales, although this was exacerbated by currency movements.

The sustained improvement in equity market conditions has benefited IG Group (IGG) which today reported ‘satisfactory’ full year results in which a much stronger second half made up for weak first half trading. Trading revenues for the year dipped by just 1.4 per cent and pre-tax profit rose by 3.5 per cent to £192.2m. Buy.

Mobile payments specialist Monitise (MONI) reports that demand for its services is running at all time highs and this has translated to full year revenues of at least £70m, up from £36m last year. The Monitise platform has 23m users and handles $40bn worth of payments and transactions a year. We keep our buy recommendation.

Vets surgeries group CVS Group (CVSG) has posted positive like for like growth of 3.4 per cent for the year to June and is also benefiting on a group level from increased numbers taking up its loyalty scheme membership and improving e-commerce sales. We maintain our buy rating.

Simon Thompson recommendationInland (INL) announces its year end trading update which shows profitability running ahead of expectations. The company has made £11.4m from the sale of 55 homes, compared with £1.7m last year, and also sold 355 plots for £15.35m. Its 74 per cent owned subsidiary DGVL sold 76 plots for £5.3m.

Leyshon Resources (LRL) has begun drilling its latest prospect at the Zijinshan gas project after a short delay due to torrential rain. Buy.

KEY STORIES:

Ryanair (RYA) has hit back at the UK Competition Commission’s concern over its 29 per cent stake in Aer Lingus by saying it is willing to sell its stake to any other EU airline bidder who can get support from 50.1 per cent of the Irish airline’s shareholders.

Diageo (DGE) has been given permission from the Chinese authorities to become the biggest single shareholder in Shanghai-listed Sichuan Shuijingfang, following payment of £233m, its holding will rise from 21 per cent to 39.7 per cent.

Final results from PZ Cussons (PZC) showed a continued improvement in profitability despite localised troubles in key markets such as Nigeria. For the year to May, revenues rose by 2.8 per cent and pre-tax profits by 16.5 per cent.

Chemicals specialist Croda International (CRDA) posted a 6.3 per cent improvement in pre-tax profits from continuing operations in the six months to June although the core businesses of Consumer Care and Performance Technologies showed mixed results which pretty much cancelled each other out. The smaller industrial chemicals business performed strongly, growing profits by one third.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

Next Wednesday will see the float of off licences business Conviviality Retail after it completed a £66.7m placing at 100p a share. The company owns 611 stores and has 461 franchisees, primarily under the Bargain Booze and Thoroughgoods brands.

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