Pick of the early market news

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After chalking up recent gains, the FTSE 100 yesterday lost its climbing grip, slipping back to 5,396. Several miners - Antofagasta, Cairn Energy - were partly to blame, though a few financials, including Old Mutual, also lost ground. In the Eurozone, Spain saw two of its leading banks downgraded, Santander and BBVA - plus a rash of smaller Spanish financial institutions. Today? Let's grab a bag and scarf.
Burberry shares have been under pressure recently. However its half-year to end of September update claims an underlying 30% revenue lift, totalling £830m. Major flagship stores in Paris, Hong Kong and London have all performed strongly. Comparable store sales growth in China continued at around 30%, Licensing revenue is also up by 4%.

"Our first half performance, with 30% revenue growth, clearly demonstrates the continuing global momentum of the Burberry brand," says chief exec Angela Ahrendts, "underpinned by consistent and balanced double-digit growth in retail and wholesale, all regions and all product categories."

Burberry says its focus remains on investing "in product design, digital marketing and retail, while being fully prepared to respond appropriately should we see any significant change in luxury demand."

BAE Systems has also issued a half-year interim claiming trading is consistent with management expectations. However the company has taken a bruising from UK job losses and the business environment remains challenging, BAE warns.

"With constraints on government expenditure in many of the Group's principal markets, affordability continues to be a key focus for customers. In particular, there is significant uncertainty as to the level of future defence spend in the US with a range of options for national deficit reduction being considered.

In October, the Group raised $1.25bn (£0.8bn) in the US bond market and in July the sale of the Group's US Composite Structures business was completed for cash of approximately $33m (£21m).

Finally Mexican miner Fresnillo has announced, in an interim for the three months up to 30 September, a 5.8% drop ion silver production. Fresnillo has dropped its guidance for silver production to 41m ounces.

"Year to date attributable silver production," the company says, "including the Silverstream, decreased 0.3% and quarterly production decreased 5.8% compared to 3Q10 due to backfilling of long-hole stopes at the Fresnillo mine to reinforce safety conditions."

Fresnillo expects to return to normal operations by the end of October. "Notwithstanding, our resource fundamentals remain strong," says chief exec Jaime Lomelín. "This is reflected in our record gold production and ongoing ramp-up at Saucito and Soledad-Dipolos."

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