Good morning,

Markets are called to open flat this morning.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s biggest oil company, said fourth-quarter earnings will fall “significantly” because of weaker refining, higher exploration costs and lower-than-expected production volumes.

Adjusted profit excluding one-time items and inventory changes will be about $2.9 billion, The Hague-based Shell said in a statement. That compares with $4.5 billion in the third quarter and a fourth-quarter estimate of $4.9 billion, according to the average of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden, who took over from Peter Voser at the start of the year, is facing rising costs for new projects, stagnant oil prices and falling output as he tries to boost earnings. Shell is lagging behind its peers, climbing 3.4 percent since the start of 2013 compared with a 15 percent advance for BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp.’s 14 percent gain.


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• Spectris (SXS LN) 8am, Q4 sales/trading

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Good day and happy trading!

Kristian Camenzuli