Updates from RBS and Stagecoach

Updated: 
Commuters walk over Waterloo bridge in central London, on November 3, 2010, as an underground strike affects London's workforce. A fresh strike by thousands of staff on London's Underground rail network prompted many commuters to stay at home Wednesday, while millions of others faced long delays to get to work. Some 11,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers' Union (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) were taking industrial action in protest at job cuts on the network. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)Some pressure on the FTSE 100 on Tuesday, slipping more than 36 points to 6,523. Standard Chartered was the biggest faller, down -2.28% to 1284p. However Randgold Resources saw a +4.12% climb to 4141p.

The Dow Jones sank below the 16,000 mark again, ending the day at 15,973.1.

We start this morning with a shock job resignation: RBS finance director Nathan Bostock has quit his role after just 10 weeks in the job. Bostock leaves to become deputy chief exec of the UK arm of Santander UK.

"Nathan did a remarkable job as Chief Risk Officer and was integral to the plan which restored safety and soundness to the bank following the 2008 banking crisis," says chairman Philip Hampton. "He leaves with the best wishes of the Board."

However the news is negative for RBS boss Ross McEwan, currently in the throes of undertaking a review of the bank's operations, recently hit by IT issues.

Next, Stagecoach. For the six months up to 31 October, revenues climb to £1,473.9m compared to £1,403.3m this time last year. Profits before tax power slightly higher to £105.6m from £104.4m. Adjusted earnings per share climb 2.8% to 14.6 pence.

In terms of UK Rail, good financial and operational performance at East Midlands and South Western rail franchises is claimed. UK Bus is supported by new contract wins in London, driven by improved cost control, Stagecoach claims.

"The Group is in excellent financial shape," claims chief exec Martin Griffiths, "and we are well placed to capitalise on opportunities to add value for our investors."

Lastly, a trading update from personal care player PZ Cussons. The Original Source and Imperial Leather maker says overall performance of the Group for the first half of the year is in line with management expectations.

Revenue and operating profit climb 4% and 6% higher with performance in Africa and Europe, offsetting the impact of weakening in Asian currencies, it says. In the UK, performance in the washing and bathing division is described as "robust".

"The trading environment in most markets remains challenging, and in particular in Asia as a result of ongoing currency weakness. Despite this, brand renovation and innovation continues to drive organic revenue and profit growth."