Overnight, the Nikkei was up +0.80% to 13,445 with the Hang Seng up +0.41%.
We commence with interim numbers from Stagecoach. Like-for-like revenue growth from UK bus opertations for the twelve weeks to 21 July climbs +4.5% though London operations sees this growth clipped to -0.6%. UK rail revenue climbs +6.5% while North American revenue is up +5.7%.
"The small reduction [London Bus] in revenue during the period," says the company, "is in line with our expectations, and is anticipated to reverse in the second half of the financial year as we begin to benefit from the nine new contracts won last financial year."
For UK Rail, revenue growth rates since July 2013 have fallen, partly reflecting the incremental revenue during the period of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the company says. Megabus.com in North America is the fastest-growing part of the Group, increasing revenue +21.8%.
The interim dividend is upped +6% to 2.75p per share (2012: 2.6p). Revenue for the continuing businesses in the period was £1,022.2 million (2012: £466.2 million). Revenue growth however remains "challenging" Melrose says.
"Elster," [gas and water maker company] says chairman Christopher Miller, "is fast proving to be another great acquisition with profit already up by over a third. We have achieved our original target for improving margin two years quicker than expected and more plans are underway."
Lastly, full year numbers from recruiter Hays. Operating profit is down -2% to £125m while profit before tax slips -3% to £118.5m. There's no change to the dividend at 2.50p; the UK and Ireland market is described as "stable".
There's strong net fee growth in Continental Europe & Rest of World - German fees are up +13%, Canadian fees up +31% while Russian fees climb +40%. However several countries saw a decline in net fees.
"While some markets are likely to remain challenging, there are also clear opportunities for growth," says chief exec Alistair Cox. "We will continue to react quickly to changing market conditions, investing in stronger markets while reducing costs where market conditions or outlook are more challenging."
Breaking news: The Co-operative Group takes a £700m pound hit on losses from customer compensation and bad loans.