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Today’s market overview

Growth in the euro-zone’s biggest economies beat economic forecasts. In Germany, GDP in the second quarter rose 0.7 per cent against flat growth in the first quarter, while comparative growth in France expanded by 0.5 per cent.


Rio Tinto (RIO) said that it expects falling output and job cuts at its Warkworth coal mine in New South Wales, regardless of its appeal against a court decision to block plans to extend the life of the operation. Meanwhile, Rio’s share price hit a five-month high on speculation that it is making progress towards selling off its aluminium business Alcan.

Mountview Estates (MTV) revealed strong performance over the last quarter with earnings per share up by over 16 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year. The management team has already made purchases over £20m since 1 April 2013. Gearing remains at a modest level and the board remains confident of the group’s financial stability.


Swiss resource giant Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) said it plans to lay-off the bulk of its workforce at its $5.9bn copper project in the Philippines which has been stalled by regulators. The Tampakan mine is cutting costs as the approvals process drags on. The group said that no investment decision can be made until regional approvals are obtained. Out of 1,060 workers, the company is dismissing 300 regular and project employees and about 620 contract workers, reducing the monthly spend from a planned $4m to about $1m.

Pilat Media Global (PGB) has entered into three new IBMS streamlining contracts that are estimated to contribute about £3m of license revenues and implementation fees in total during the current accounting period.

Quindell Portfolio (QPP) has delivered a trading statement with performance indicators that are “in line or ahead of half-year expectations”. Shareholders can expect basic earnings of 0.9p a share for the six months to 30 June, with pre-tax profits of £43.5m.

Kazakhstan-focussed oil & gas explorer Max Petroleum (MXP) has commenced drilling the SAGW-5 appraisal well in the Sagiz West Field on Block E using the Zhanros ZJ-30 rig. The well will be drilled to a total vertical depth of 1,400 metres, targeting Triassic reservoirs.

Board changes at Capital & Regional (CAL) with Mark Bourgeois appointed as an executive director and Xavier Pullen, one of the founders of the company, stepping down from 31 December 2013. Mr Pullen, however, will continue to maintain close links with the company. It is the intention that he will subsequently take up the role of senior adviser and will support the execution of the strategy for Germany.

It transpires that BP (BP.) is suing the US government for barring the company from obtaining new federal contracts. Last November, the Environmental Protection Agency banned from new contracts, citing the company after the Deepwater Horizon explosion.


The private equity group Advent International has sold Domestic & General to rival CVC Capital Partners, in a deal worth an estimated £750m.