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The Morning Story: snow go

(Update) As investors' confidence freezes after losses on Wall Street last night we give you a summary of the main announcements this morning.

The FTSE 100 opens 62 points down at 3,515 piling more pressure on insurers. This is after the Dow Jones fell 165 points to 7,945 in response to the huge losses from AOL Time Warner and the low fourth quarter GDP growth figures yesterday.

No important economic reports are expected at home today, but investors will take a hard look at Chicago PMI data for January this afternoon. This is a survey of Chicago-based managers which covers prices, durable goods orders and inventories. It is closely-watched since it is announced before the National Association of Purchasing Managers' index. The Chicago figure gives a good idea of what the national figure will be.

The University of Michigan's January consumer sentiment index is also scheduled for release later today.

RYANAIR is buying KLM's subsidiary Buzz Airlines, which has £11 million of cash, for £15 million. It may also unveil new aircraft orders at a joint conference with aircraft maker Boeing later this morning.

WM MORRISON posts formal offer documentation to Safeway shareholders insisting its bid is the only game in town.

FOREVER BROADCASTING reveals it is in talks with a third party that could lead to an offer for the radio company. Listener numbers are up 9% quarter-on-quarter and 30% year-on-year.

INNOBOX delivers interims with pre-tax losses marginally up at £21,692 and administration expenses down £11,600 to £43,600.

Kier Group extends its preferred supplier agreement with SPEEDY HIRE for two years at an estimated value of £3 million per annum. Trading is still in-line with expectations and like-for-like hire turnover is up 7% for the first nine months of the year.

BABCOCK confirms that current performance and trading continues to be in-line with expectations. It is also pleased about the Ministry of Defence's decision to use Rosyth shipyard to help build and design the two new aircraft carriers.

AUTONOMY purchases another 120,000 shares for cancellation at 129p on average.

OSMETECH plans to acquire US-based near patient testing blood gas analysis OPTI business from Roche Diagnostics. Pre-tax losses are down £500,000 to £2 million.

DOWDING & MILLS announces appointment of Peter Guest, formerly of ABB, as a non-executive director.

ALPHA AIRPORTS says that second half trading has been in-line with expectations and promotes David King, head of its retail shopping division, to the board.

TRAFFICMASTER expects second half losses to be lower than the £4.9 million first-half total. The group intends to writedown assets in Germany, other European countries and Teletrac in the US.

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