Pick of the early market news

Asian markets crept higher today, though the optimism is still in tight supply. However all bourses saw gains at the end of last week.

The FTSE 100 rose 9.24 points ending Friday at 5,854 with BT Group up 5.4% and Ashmore Group up 3.17%, the two biggest risers. Burberry feel -2.01% and Randgold Resources -1.99%.
We commence the week with a trading update from easyJet. The flight operator claims earlier anticipated losses will fall faster due to marketing improvements and benign weather. It anticipates a pre-tax loss for the six months up to 31 March 2012 of between £110 million and £120 million compared with £140 million to £160 million previously thought.

"Improvements in revenue management combined with marketing and website initiatives have enabled easyJet to take advantage as weaker competitors have left the market over the last couple of months," the company said.

The increase in total revenue per seat at constant currency for the first half of the year will be better than expected at a little over 10%, says the company, "with around half of the improvement in total revenue per seat driven by the actions taken last year on ancillary pricing." In line with last year around 30% of second half seats are now booked.

Next, Aberdeen Aberdeen Asset Manageement. Assets under management have climbed to £184.4 billion (31 December 2011: £173.9 billion) with continued net inflows to higher margin products to add £20 million in annual revenues.

Gross new business flows for the two months to 29 February 2012 totalled £6.5 billion, the company says, bringing the total for the five months year to date to £14.4 billion (five months to 28 February 2011: £19.1 billion).

Net inflows of £1.4 billion were achieved in the two months to 29 February 2012, resulting in net outflows of £1.4 billion for the five month period (five months to 28 February 2011: net outflow £0.6 billion).

Lastly, Aggreko has announced it is buying power rental business Poit Energia for £140m. The deal is payable in cash with the potential for up to R$60 million (£21 million) to be paid in addition if performance targets for the year to 31 December 2012 are met.

The combined business will have, says Aggreko, a total of 36 service centres across the region, doubling the number Aggreko has today; the aggregate revenues of Poit Energia and Aggreko in 2011 in South America were R$555 million (£193 million).

"The acquisition of Poit Energia," says Aggreko, "supports Aggreko's strategy of expanding its Local businesses in fast growing economies; it will materially strengthen Aggreko's business in South America, both in terms of geographic footprint and access to sectors which Aggreko is currently not in or to which it has limited exposure."

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