Overnight, the Nikkei 225 fell -0.93% to 8,674 on a disappointing -3.5% GDP contraction for the third quarter for the Japanese economy while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed +0.29%.
There's a housing focus to the numbers today. We commence with an interim from Taylor Wimpey - and some "incremental" improvement. Sales rates in the second half of 2012 are similar to 2011 it says, with average net private reservation rates of 0.57 sales per outlet per week in 2012 compared to 0.56 in 2011.
Cancellation rates remain below the long term average at 15.3% year to date (2011 equivalent period 15.7%) says Taylor Wimpey. "We are now fully sold for our targeted 2012 completions and are building our order book for 2013 completions."
The current order book for future completions is £1.11 billion (6 November 2011: £1.02 billion), with the growth being driven by the private order book, the company says. "The margin achieved on these sales shows improvement on the position last year and on that achieved on completions in the first half of 2012."
Average sales price achieved in the year to date for private reservations are expected to complete in 2012 is circa £190,000 compared with £180,100 in 2011. "This increase reflects an improvement in the sales mix by location and size of home," says Bovis.
Prices in the housing market are broadly stable with prices generally stronger in the south of England. "With the significant increase in private average sales prices due to improving mix, the Group remains on track to deliver a strong increase in revenue in 2012."
Lastly, Interserve. The Group continues to perform inline with Board expectations says Interserve winning, it claims, further contracts from new and existing clients. During the second half of the year it won £500m of work from clients including NHS, Viridor, Scottish Power Networks, Ministry of Justice, Department for Education and University of Oxford.
On 3rd of August and 12th October Interserve disposed of half its stake in UCLH and a minority stake in a portfolio comprised of 19 investments. Cash consideration for these transactions, now received, totalled £124.5m it says.
"Following the PFI divestments, the business' financial position has materially strengthened from that reported in the half-year report at 30th June," the company claimed this morning.