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Today’s market overview

Oil prices were up on early trading, as Middle East supply concerns grew in light of the violence that has rocked Egypt. Brent crude for September delivery rose above $110 a barrel for the first time since the beginning of April.

IC TIP UPDATES:

Sirius Minerals (SXX) booked a substantially lower full-year pre-tax loss of £14.6m, from £63.1m in 2012, including an impairment charge of £2.9m. However, investors will focus on the company’s ongoing struggle to gain development approvals for the York Potash project, particularly in light of the collapse of the Belarus cartel. The company stresses that the £25m financing deal it recently brokered proves there is confidence in the project.

Imperial Tobacco (IMT) said that sales volumes fell by 7 per cent in the first nine months as it continued to be hurt by a fall in disposal able incomes and illicit trade in Europe. However, the group stood by its full year targets in the face of declining cigarette sales.

KEY STORIES:

Innovation Group (TIG) confirmed via a management statement that it has continued to build on the strong performance delivered in the first half of the financial year, driven by successful sales of both its software and BPS solutions, with good levels of cash generated from its operations, while the cash conversion rate remains strong.

In another trading update, Latchways (LTC) said that its traditional markets remain challenging, but that it has made progress in developing new customers and geographies. Current trading points towards a stronger second half of the year, although the company still expects to report growth for the first half.

International Airlines Group (IAG) has secured orders and options for up to 220 Airbus A320 family short-haul aircraft, 120 of which are destined for its subsidiary Vueling. The new aircraft will enable the Barcelona-based airline to replace some of its existing A320 fleet and expand its business.

Net gold ETF outflows reached $18.5bn in the period between end of March through June, marking the biggest quarterly sell-off since the first gold ETF was launched in 2003.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

The shares of Aim-traded Hirco PLC have been suspended at the request of the pending clarification of the company’s financial position.

SamMobile.com, a website devoted to mobile devices made by Samsung Electronics, revealed that the Korean tech giant plans to unveil a “smartwatch” at its corporate event on Sept. 4.

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