Kathleen Brooks
TOMORROW sees the latest interim results from FTSE 100 insurer Standard Life. Expectations are running high for a good performance with some market participants looking for underlying profits to have jumped ahead by 50 per cent in the first half of the year. After slipping to its worst levels in more than a year at the beginning of July, the share price has staged an impressive turnaround and in recent days it has traded back up to its best levels for 2010. But there could be a struggle to push much higher. The 220p mark has been an obstacle for further appreciation for the last seven months. The IG Markets’ CFD price is 215.2p-215.3p.

Tui Travel also announces its third quarter trading statement today, which should arouse some interest in the market. The good weather in the UK has already hurt holiday bookings. Tui announced earlier this year that bookings were down 17 per cent in May and 12 per cent in June. This could weigh on its results when they are announced. Spread Co offers a spread on Tui Travel of 222.43p-223.17p.

The flurry of results also includes International Power. These results will be particularly interesting, since the group is expected to confirm the partial merger between it and GDF Suez, with GDF taking a majority stake in IP. Look out for any impact on profits due to the sale of its Czech business. Spread Co offers a spread on International Power of 374.82p-375.68p.

There was good news for pharma giant AstraZeneca yesterday, after a class action
lawsuit against its antipsychotic drug Seroquel was settled for the relatively minor sum of $198m. Even while the court case was going on it continued to attract a lot of buying attention – the stock barely blinked during the peak of the European sovereign debt crisis. Shares continue to attract investors due to the company’s pledge to increase its share buyback programme this year. Capital CFDs quotes a price of 3298.8p-3302.7p as the shares close at a near four-year high.

The maker of the steak-bake Greggs releases its first half trading report today, where it is expected to announce any potential impact of the rising cost of wheat on its future margins, combined with its recent expansion plans – it now has 1,400 stores and is planning to open a between 50 and 60 this year. Greggs is currently trading at recent lows, after reaching highs of approximately 500p in April. Spread Co offers a spread of 430.28p-432.52p on Greggs.