Overnight, the Japanese Nikkei is up +1.25% to 13,831.
The big news, then, this morning is Barclays and plans to issue £5.8bn in new shares in order to help fill its capital shortfall. Second quarter pre-tax profits have been cut -17% to £3,591m. Barclays is also to issue bonds worth £2bn that can be switched to shares.
However, investors should not see their existing stakes diluted as this will be a rights issue - so the opportunity for new shares. One new share for every four owned at 185p is the deal on the table. (Bear in mind Barclays shares have risen substantially in the last year.)
"After careful consideration," says chairman David Walker, "of the options to meet the PRA request for a 3% leverage ratio by June 2014, the Board has decided on a set of actions, including the rights issue, to meet this target, whilst continuing to deliver our strategy under the Transform programme."
EBITA before exceptional items climbs +11% to £291m while ITV Studios EBITA soars +26% to £63m; broadcast & online EBITA climbs +7% to £228m. ITV studios recently paid £12.5m for Big Talk Productions, maker of Rev and Friday Night Dinner.
"In the first six months of the year," says boss Adam Crozier, "ITV continued to increase group profits and revenues despite the expected fall in our H1 advertising revenues. Non-advertising revenues were up by 11% to £568m, driven by significant growth in Online, Pay & Interactive and in ITV Studios."
Lastly, a trading statement from Next. Total Next brand sales in the first half were up +2.3%, around the mid point of the +1% to +4% guidance range it issued in March. Full price sales were somewhat better than the headline figure as a result of a much smaller End of Season Sale, the company says.
Prior to the start of our Sale on 13th July, sales were +3.7% ahead of last year. Next claims it went into Sale with 20% less stock than last year, clearance rates improved and markdown sales were down by -13%.
"We expect little change to the consumer environment and so we are issuing the same sales guidance for the second half as we did for the first; that is +1% to +4%. If we are within this range, then sales for the full year would be in the range of +1.5% to +3.5%."