Updates from Samsung, Keller Group and Apple

Stock markets surge following recent falls meanwhile Apple takes a new bruising

savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100 Keller, Apple, SamsungA 130-point boost for the FTSE 100 on Thursday, pushing 2% higher to 6,466. Asset manager Old Mutual and drinks operator SABMiller were the biggest climbers, both surging 5.6% to 189.90p and 3374p respectively. Aberdeen Asset Management shares also were bolstered strongly, up 5.5% to 431p.

A similar shares lift was seen in the US: the Dow Jones saw a massive 421-point push - its biggest hike in three years - lifting the index to 17,778.1. Tech and health stocks were big gainers.

First off, Samsung says it could hike its 2014 dividend by as much as 50% for 2014 compared to 2013. The South Korean tech player will seek shareholder approval for the possible move in early Spring.

Samsung already has a huge cash pile, thought to be in excess of $60bn. The company has made some moves to buy back shares (up to around $2bn).

The smartphone maker saw its market share dip more than 7.5% for the third quarter to 24.4% according to Gartner. Samsung have said it may freeze wages for execs in the next year.

Next, Apple has come in for a bruising following a new BBC Panorama investigation on working conditions in a Chinese factory. The investigation was a follow-up to concern about Chinese factories working conditions in 2010.

Apple have defended their practices. "We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions," the company told the BBC.

The US tech giant recently suspended sales in Russia following the rouble's volatility, making it difficult for the company to set prices.

Lastly, engineering player Keller Group has issued a very brief trading update up to 31 December. It claims no significant change in market and trading conditions since the release of its interim on 17 November.

"The Board therefore," it says, "expects that the full year results will be in line with current market expectations."

Keller recently signed a $177m contract in the Caspian Sea region (bounded by Kazakhstan, Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan). Liberum Capital recently affirmed its Buy rating on the stock.

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