STEADY FIGURES EXPECTED FROM KERRY GROUP THIS WEEK - A host of top US and European companies are due to report half yearly earnings this week - the companies include Disney and Ralph Lauren as well as bookmaker Ladbrokes and Irish food group Kerry.

Aidan Donnelly, investment analyst with Davy Private Clients, says the current results period has shown up some very interesting results in the last few weeks. Results from the companies show ongoing growth in the US, while Europe remains soft and Asia continues to slow from its rapid growth of recent years. This week investors will be looking to the results of European companies to see the trends within the domestic market and also for trends for growth in emerging markets. The analyst says the like of Kerry and Nestle give a good guidance as to what people are spending their money on as people need food before anything else.

On Kerry, Mr Donnelly says that the company's performance is expected to be pretty steady with ''decent'' volume growth predicted. He says that the company's profit margin is expected to improve due to recent cost cutting measures while earnings growth of 7-11% is expected to be maintained. The fact that Kerry management have been buying shares in the company in recent weeks is a good sign and is a gauge investors use to assess the strength of the company, he adds.


MORNING BRIEFS - Hot weather was a factor behind growth in Ireland's services sector in July. The services sector expanded for the 12th month in a row according to the latest Investec purchasing managers' index. The tourism, transport and leisure component showed its fastest increase in a month since July 2011 with companies in those businesses citing good weather as one of the reasons.

*** Officials in Seoul have criticised a decision by US President Barack Obama over the weekend to veto a decision of America's International Trade Commission. The ITC had banned US technology firm Apple from importing a range of its devices into the country because it was ruled to have infringed patents held by South Korea's Samsung. The two companies have fought a series of legal battles across the globe with each accusing the other of copying designs and technology for various smartphones and computer tablets. South Korea's trade ministry is unhappy that President Obama intervened to veto the trade ruling against Apple. It is the first time since 1987 that a US President has overruled a decision by the body. The trade ministry in Seoul said it would closely monitor a ruling this Friday from the ITC in a similar patent case against Samsung to ensure the US government's response was "fair and reasonable".

*** One of Google's co-founders Sergey Brin has emerged as an investor in the project that saw laboratory grown beef made into burgers at a cookery demonstration in London yesterday. Brin put around €700,000 into the research undertaken by Professor Mark Post at Maastricht University. Professor Post says he is talking to Brin about putting up some more money for the next stage of the project. He is looking for up to €10m in investment to get to the point where commercial quantities of the "cultured beef" could be produced.