FTSE makes modest gains, energy stocks support
LONDON British shares inched up on Thursday with energy stocks leading timid gains, trading without strong direction with ex-divs weighing.
BERLIN Germany's Daimler (DAIGn.DE) has almost 90,000 orders for the revamped A-class compact of its Mercedes-Benz luxury division, Die Zeit reported, citing Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche.
That would compare with advance orders of more than 40,000 for Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) overhauled Golf hatchback, which is vying for customers with the A-Class in the competitive compact segment.
Stuttgart, Germany-based Mercedes will increase global auto sales by 5 percent this year from last year's record of 1.28 million, the CEO said in an interview published by the weekly newspaper on Wednesday.
Mercedes aims to double deliveries of Mercedes and Smart vehicles to about 2.6 million by 2020, the year it wants to reclaim the luxury sales crown and surpass rivals BMW (BMWG.DE) and Volkswagen's Audi, the CEO said.
Zetsche said Daimler plans "no active job reductions" even though it's targeting 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in cost cuts at the Mercedes division by the end of 2014.
Daimler warned last month it would miss its earnings forecast this year by about 1 billion euros and wouldn't improve margins next year.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by David Holmes)
London Stock Exchange said it will buy back 200 million pounds of its shares, as it tries to placate shareholders following the collapse of its merger with Deutsche Boerse .