* FTSE 100 edges up 0.1 pct
* RBS and IHG shoot to top of the index after earnings
* Earnings in the UK outperforming Europe
* U.S. jobs data seen ahead of consensus by SocGen
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, May 2 Sharp rises for Royal Bank of
Scotland and InterContinental Hotels were the
highlights of early trade on the FTSE 100, which held
steady ahead of closely watched U.S. jobs data.
Part-nationalised RBS surged more than 10 percent to the top
of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after trebling its profit in
the first quarter, benefiting from improved cost control and a
reduction in losses from bad loans.
Jefferies said that earnings were more than twice consensus
estimates, with impairments 48 percent below forecasts.
Also rising after strong results was InterContinental Hotels
Group, which proposed a special dividend along with its
strongest room revenue performance in seven quarters. Its shares
jumped 8.6 percent.
"InterContinental has delivered a stellar performance.
Growth in revenue per available room is ahead of expectation ...
while the return of hotel sale proceeds in the form of a special
dividend is ahead of schedule," Keith Bowman, equity analyst at
Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said.
RBS and IHG combined to bring the FTSE 100 slightly into
positive territory, up 4.28 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,813.15.
lifting the index to a fresh two-month high.
Of companies that have reported quarterly earnings so far,
82 percent of FTSE 100 companies have beaten or met
expectations, compared to 57 percent of STOXX Europe 600
However, only 18 percent have met or beaten forecasts for
revenues on the FTSE 100, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed.
"(The StarMine) figures tell you everything you need to
know. There's been greater weakness in the top line in general,
and the bottom line has been artificially boosted by things like
share buybacks," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, analyst at Charles
Stocks without earnings newsflow saw only limited moves,
ahead of closely watched U.S. non-farm payrolls data out at 1230
U.S. hiring likely increased at its quickest pace in five
months in April, although Societe Generale predicted that the
number would beat the Reuters consensus 210,000 figure by 10,000
jobs added, anticipating a "solid" report.
(Editing by Susan Fenton)