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FTSE 100 Live: London blue-chips close down 0.4%, Sunak speaks at UK investment summit

FTSE 100 Live: London blue-chips close down 0.4%, Sunak speaks at UK investment summit

FTSE 100 closes down 0.4%

Monday 27 November 2023 16:38 , Daniel O'Boyle

The FTSE 100 has closed down 0.4% at 7,460.70 as it continues to lack direction.

London's top-flight has spent almost the entire month hovering around the 7500 mark.

Miner Fresnillo and property portal Rightmove were among the big risers today.

West End Final: Andrew Bailey is fresh out of good news

Monday 27 November 2023 16:11

Jack Kessler writes that Britain's lost decade is threatening to turn into a lost 20 years

Might interest rates begin to fall soon? With inflation dropping below five per cent and the UK economy flirting with recession, it's the question everyone from the prime minister to first-time buyers is asking. But this morning, the Governor of the Bank of England poured cold sick all over the idea.

What Andrew Bailey actually told ChronicleLive following a visit to the North East was that rates would not be cut in "the foreseeable future" and that it was "too soon" to be having that discussion. Which is central bank talk for 'go away and come back when you're more productive'.

There are good reasons for Bailey's caution. Rishi Sunak may have met his politically important pledge to halve inflation, but from an economic perspective, it doesn't matter a jot. The Bank has a two per cent inflation target, something it doesn't expect to meet until the end of 2025.

So, Bailey is offering a little forward guidance, warning that inflation may have halved from 11.1 per cent in October 2022 to 4.6 per cent last month, but that halving it again could prove even trickier.

Read the full West End Final newsletter

City Comment: The UK needs real reform to boost growth, not another ‘historic’ summit

Monday 27 November 2023 15:34 , Daniel O'Boyle

Today’s investment conference is the latest initiative for a supply-side revolution to kick-start growth. But where's the action, asks Jonathan Prynn.

Rishi Sunak was hanging a “UK is open for business” banner over Hampton Court today as he sought to persuade the world’s investors to direct their funding towards the rainy island off the north west coast of Europe.

Interesting choice of venue. Historic, yes, impressive, undoubtedly, but hardly giving off 21st century cutting edge AI vibes. The main cutting edge associated with Hampton Court was the axe used by Henry VIII to bring about the untimely demise of assorted wives and councillors.

Today’s investment conference is the latest initiative aimed at meeting the Tory Right’s demand for a supply-side revolution to kick-start growth.

Read more here

£10 protein shakes help Joe and the Juice sales surge past £45 million

Monday 27 November 2023 14:23 , Daniel O'Boyle

The rise of the £10 protein shake has helped lift sales at Joe and the Juice to a record £45 million in the UK, its latest accounts show.

The Denmark-based business posted a 66% increase in revenues in 2022, more than double management’s expected revenue growth.

“Our juicers’ hard work and dedication resulted in our business scaling up rapidly, hence demonstrating the resilience and adaptability of our operating model,” the firm said, adding that it opened 10 new stores in 2022 to reach a UK total of 65.

But the company swung to a loss of £4.5 million for the year, down from a profit of £1.5 million in 2021. It predicted a further 20-30% sales growth in 2023.

Read more here

Lunchtime market snapshot

Monday 27 November 2023 13:30 , Daniel O'Boyle

Shares are still down for the day, thought they have picked up from the morning's lows.

Take a look at our full market snapshot

Billionaire Issa brother warned of ‘contempt of Parliament’

Monday 27 November 2023 13:19 , Daniel O'Boyle

One of the billionaire Issa brothers has been warned he risks being in contempt of Parliament after the Standard discovered he had submitted error-strewn evidence to MPs.

Mohsin Issa, who runs and co-owns Asda, was told he must urgently address inaccuracies in a letter he submitted to the Business and Trade Committee, and was accused of failing to notify MPs of the errors.

Liam Byrne MP, chair of the committee, said in a letter: "I was taken aback to read in the Evening Standard of 27 October that Asda has admitted your letter contained 'multiple inaccuracies'.

In a statement Asda said: “Unfortunately, there was an error in the table laying out the group of companies, incorrectly suggesting that Asda Group, Asda Stores and McLagan Investments were Jersey domiciled, when they have always been domiciled in the UK. All group companies are UK registered and pay tax in the UK in accordance with UK tax legislation.”

Mohsin Issa has until Thursday to respond to further questions from MPs. An Asda spokesperson has said the company will respond.

Read more here

West End Christmas trading off to strong start, top landlord Shaftesbury says

Monday 27 November 2023 12:23 , Daniel O'Boyle

The West End has got off to a strong start to Christmas with sales up 12% on last year and 16% on pre-pandemic levels, one of its biggest landlords said today.

In a trading update Shaftesbury Capital, which owns properties across Soho, Covent Garden and Chinatown, said levels of footfall remained high despite the cost of living squeeze. The company was created last year through the merger of Capco, which is the dominant landlord in Covent Garden, and Shaftesbury, which has a large Soho estate.

Chief executive Ian Hawksworth, said: “Our excellent performance has continued into the second half, with a strong start to the Christmas trading period. The West End is one of the most vibrant global destinations with an unrivalled concentration of entertainment and cultural attractions.

Read more here

UK-China relationship now different from Cameron’s ‘golden era’, says Sunak

Monday 27 November 2023 12:12 , Daniel O'Boyle

Lord David Cameron’s political comeback as Foreign Secretary will not mean the return of his “golden era” approach to China, Rishi Sunak said.

Lord Cameron’s administration forged close economic ties with China and leader Xi Jinping supped a pint with the then prime minister at a pub near Chequers in a sign of how close they were.

But Mr Sunak told a summit of global investors that his Government had a more cautious approach to engagement with Beijing.

Read more here

Sunak highlights benefits of immigration in investment speech

Monday 27 November 2023 10:33 , Simon Hunt

Rishi Sunak highlighted the benefits of immigration in his speech at the Global Investment Summit.

"We don't have a monopoly on talent in this country," he said.

"And we recognise that nearly half of our most innovative companies have an immigrant founder.

"So if you're an innovator or an entrepreneurial researcher, you should know that we have the most competitive visa regime for high skills.

"Our new high potential individual visa means that if you are a young person, who's graduated from a top 50 global university, you can just come here with your family and stay here for two years."

Rishi Sunak opens Global Investment Summit

Monday 27 November 2023 10:23 , Simon Hunt

Rishi Sunak has opened the UK's Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace.

"We know that it’s not governments that grow the economy, it’s businesses and investors," he said.

"It may be unfashionable to say but I believe that your success is the country’s success.

"We are setting about making this the best palce in the world to do business

"PwC’s survey this year rated the UK the most attractive investment destination in Europe."

Indie game maker Frontier Developments share stumble as Warhammer game flops

Monday 27 November 2023 09:27 , Daniel O'Boyle

The UK’s independent video game studios faced its second blow in a matter of days, as shares in Cambridge-based game maker Frontier Developments tumbled as it revealed another new game has flopped.

Frontier said sales of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin, a title based on the popular Warhammer board games, were below expectations, despite “mostly positive reviews” of the game. That’s the second flop in a matter of months, as Frontier also struggled to shift copies of F1 Manager 2023. The 2022 edition of F1 Manager had also been a disappointment.

Given those troubles, Frontier said it would focus less on branching out into new genres and stick to where it has had success: “creative management” games, where the player runs an attraction like a theme park or zoo.

Frontier shares plunged by as much as 25% to 149.8p. That values the firm, worth £1.3 billion in 2021, at less than £60 million.

It’s the second independent game studio to see share collapse in a matter of days. On Friday, shares in Team17 - the firm behind 1990s classic Worms - plunged by more than 40% after a profit warning.

Market snapshot: FTSE 100 opens lower

Monday 27 November 2023 08:27 , Daniel O'Boyle

Shares are lower this morning as lower oil prices drive energy and mining stocks down.

Take a look at the latest market snapshot.

Molten and Forward agree £41 million VC tie-up

Monday 27 November 2023 08:14 , Daniel O'Boyle

Venture Capital fund Molten Ventures has agreed to buy rival Forward Partners in a deal to create a bigger London-based player in the tech funding scene, but at a discount compared to Forward’s closing share price before the deal.

Molten Ventures will offer £41.4 million of its own stock in exchange for Forward’s shares, valuing the firm at 7.3% less than its Friday market cap.

The creation of a larger player could be a boost to London’s VC scene, which has struggled to match the firepower of the US.

“Molten is motivated not just by shareholder returns but also by its role as a leader in the European ecosystem for supporting entrepreneurial companies – by making this acquisition, Molten is helping ensure that the portfolio companies will continue to be supported,” Molten said.

Molten also raised £50 million from US funds giant Blackrock, which owns around 70% of Forward Partners, in a share issue.

FTSE 100 opens lower as energy stocks and miners fall, Rightmove rallies

Monday 27 November 2023 08:10 , Michael Hunter

London's main stock market index fell in opening trade, following a lacklustre pattern set in Asia, with energy and mining stocks making the biggest falls.

The FTSE 100 lost 21 points overall to 7467.36, a drop of 0.3%.

Six of the 10 biggest decliners were resource stocks. BHP made the biggest single fall, down over 1%, or 28p to 2433p. Anglo American was down 18p to 2198p. Shell fell 21p to 2574p.

Online property portal Rightmove topped the leaderboard – up 27p, or over 5% to 535p – after it said big new-build developers were spending more with the site during the property slowdown, helping it lift forecasts.

Rightmove revenue gets a lift from new-build developers in slower housing market

Monday 27 November 2023 07:44 , Michael Hunter

Rightmove said today its revenue is "marginally ahead" of expectations, "despite uncertainty in the housing market".

The UK's biggest property website said that property developers were making more use of it during the wider market slowdown, helping lift a key industry measure, average revenue per advertiser, or ARPA.

"The majority of the growth has been driven by new homes developers, who have extended their usage of our Native Search Adverts and Advanced Development Listing products to sell their development," it said.

Often the place house hunters begin their search, and where homeowners watch the market, Rightmove lifted its ARPA outlook for the full year to between £112 and £116, up from £103 to £105.

Overall revenue was expected to rise by between 8% and 10%.

Gold touches 6-month high and Asian stock markets slip

Monday 27 November 2023 07:17 , Michael Hunter

The price of gold touched its highest since mid-May during Asian trading hours, while stock indices there eased back in cautious trade.

Investors there were bracing for a series of economic indicators due out this week, including from China's manufacturing sector.

Amid the cautious feel to trade, gold moved higher above $2,000 an ounce to $2,013.10, helped by continued weakness for the dollar in line with a sense that US interest rates have peaked.

FTSE 100 set to open in neutral gear

Monday 27 November 2023 07:02 , Michael Hunter

Futures markets are expecting London's main stock market to make modest gains in opening trade, towards the end of. strong month for wider European stock markets.

Investors will be keeping watch on the implications for energy markets of the meeting of oil exporting nations in OPEC+. It was delayed amid talk of disagreements among members over the implementation of existing cuts getting in the way of a move toward future curbs.

Brent crude is down 0.7% at $79.94.

According to futures trade, London's FTSE 100 will tick up by 8 points to 7513.5 points.

Rishi welcomes business leaders to Global Investment Summit

Sunday 26 November 2023 23:56 , Simon Hunt

Good morning from the City desk of the Evening Standard.

Rishi Sunak is set to welcome hundreds of business figures to a summit at Hampton Court Palace today, as he hailed efforts to attract global investment to Britain as being at the “heart” of his growth plan.

The Prime Minister will mingle with top chief executives and investors at the Global Investment Summit in the venue’s grand surroundings.

Mr Sunak hailed a total of £29.5 billion committed by investors in the UK, triple the sum raised at the last global investment gathering in 2021.

The Prime Minister will join Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch later to open the summit, which is being attended by bosses from Blackstone, Aviva, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase amongst others.

Our business correspondent Simon Hunt is attending the summit and will bring you the latest from Hampton Court.

Here's a look back at our top stories from Friday: