Overnight, the Nikkei 225 climbs +0.86% to 14,158.
We begin with a shock price rise from energy player SSE, which is hiking gas and electricity prices by +8.2% from 15 November, the company said in a statement this morning. Group Managing Director, Retail, Will Morris said he was sorry...
"...but the reality," he said, "is that buying wholesale energy in global markets, delivering it to customers' homes, and government-imposed levies collected through bills - endorsed by all the major parties - all cost more than they did last year."
SSE expects its annual profit margin from its Energy Supply business to average 5% over the medium term (three to five years). "In 2012/13, it was 4.2% and SSE expects to fail to meet this 5% target profit margin again in 2013/14."
Next, an update from BAE Systems for the period 1 July to 9 October. Trading for the period has been consistent with expectations it says and discussions continue with the Ministry of Defence to balance naval surface shipbuilding capacity with demand.
"Including both the benefit," says BAE, "from the share repurchase programme and downside arising from reductions to US defence budgets, double-digit growth in underlying earnings per share is anticipated for 2013."
Lastly, preliminary numbers from WH Smith. Total Group profit before tax climbs +6% to £108m (2012: £102m) with group profit from trading operations up +4% to £122m (2012: £117m). Trading profit from Travel climbs +5% to £66m (2012: £63m).
There's more growth from its High Street business with trading profit up +4% to £56m (2012: £54m). WH Smith says earnings per share climbs +15% to 68.5p (2012: 59.7p restated).
"The Group," claims Stephen Clarke, chief exec, "remains highly cash generative enabling us to invest in our businesses and in new opportunities, whilst returning cash to shareholders, including a further £50m share buyback announced today."