Tesco PLC, Pace plc and SIG plc climb today.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) is pretty flat today, putting on just 10 points to 6,109 by the time of writing. It has been pretty much unaffected by today's interest rate decisions, as the European Central Bank kept the eurozone rate at 0.75% with the Bank of England leaving the UK rate unchanged at 0.5%, as predicted. Asian markets rose on the back of improving news from China, whose trade balance is better than expected.
As the FTSE 100 is doing well at the moment, so are some of the UK's major shares. We look at three that are on the way at the moment:
Today's Christmas trading statement from Tesco (LSE: TSCO) (NASDAQOTH: TSCDY.US) was positive, as expected, and led to a 7.9p (2.2%) rise in the share price to 357p. For the six weeks to 5 January, total group sales rose by 3.8%, with like-for-like sales up 1.8%, for the supermarket's strongest growth rate for three years. In-store food sales have been recovering nicely, suggesting that Tesco's strategy of improving its shopping experience is bearing fruit.
International sales remained consistent with the third quarter, showing a growth of 3.4%, with Asia topping the table with a 7.6% rise. Tesco's outlook for the full year remains unchanged from its December update, with trade in central Europe still feeling the pinch.
Pace (LSE: PIC), the TV and broadband technologist, released a 2012 trading update today and saw its share price pick up 5p (2.6%) to reach 198p -- it has now more than doubled over the past 12 months. The driver today was the news that full-year performance is now expected to be ahead of previous guidance, thanks to record fourth-quarter revenue bringing a strong end to the year.
The company's underlying operating margin is going to come in at around 7.3%, and year-end debt is expected to be down 47% to no greater than $170 million.
Among the biggest risers of the day was a boost of 8.3p (6.5%) for SIG (LSE: SHI), taking the price to 135p. Shares in the specialist building products supplier are now up around 50% since January 2012, after an upbeat trading statement. Although revenue for the year was pretty flat on a constant currency basis, the second half was strong and has led the board to expect a pre-tax profit of no less than £82 million, which is significantly ahead of previous City forecasts.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Tesco.