Across the Atlantic the Dow Jones climbed +0.84% higher, ending Tuesday at 13,900, following positive data comments from Fed chief Ben Bernanke. Overnight, the Nikkei slipped -1.27%.
The big news this morning is from British Gas parent Centrica, which has seen residential supply profits soar +11% to £606m following a bitter 2012/13 winter. Adjusted earnings increases 5% to £1,406 million while earnings per share comes in at 27.1 pence, slightly lower than anticipated.
Centrica, mindful of the public anger and indignation over energy price climbs in the last two years especially, is careful in its news release to acknowledge "the very real concerns of hard pressed consumers".
Chief executive Sam Laidlaw claims Centrica's contribution to GDP amounts to the equivalent of £158 for every UK household. Centrica also claims its staff paid £1.1bn in tax last year. But the relationship between profits and prices remain too unclear for many.
Carillion also claims £5.2 billion of new and probable orders in 2012 plus "probable" orders of £18.1 billion (2011: £19.1 billion). The reduction on 2011 is due primarily to the sale of equity investments in Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and the rescaling of UK construction it says.
"Having rescaled our UK construction activities, we have also further improved the risk profile and the overall quality of our business," says chairman Philip Rogerson. "Looking forward, we expect market conditions to remain challenging in 2013. However, with a resilient business model, a strong order book and a substantial pipeline of contract opportunities."
Lastly, US beer drinkers have commenced a $5m lawsuit accusing Anheuser-Busch InBev of watering down its beer, including brands King Cobra, Busch Ice and Natural Ice. The lawsuits are premised on information from ex employees at breweries owned by the multinational.
"Our information comes from former employees at Anheuser-Busch, who have informed us that, as a matter of corporate practice, all of their products mentioned [in the lawsuit] are watered down," lawyer Josh Boxer is quoted by the BBC.
It's alleged the watering down of the beer began following the merger of American Anheuser-Busch with Belgian-Brazilian InBev in 2008. Anheuser-Busch InBev have come back, claiming the accusations are groundless.
Breaking news: Aerospace and defence group EADS reports net profits have climbed 19% to €1.23bn with revenues soaring 15% to €56.48bn.