FTSE 100 Live: Recession warning, Balfour Beatty gets £1.2bn contract

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The UK economic outlook is in focus today after EY Item Club warned the recession will be deeper than it was three months ago.

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The consultancy sees a 0.7% contraction for this year as compared to 0.3% estimated in October. This will be followed by a 1.9% increase in 2024, down from the 2.4% improvement seen previously.

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In today’s corporate news, Balfour Beatty said it has secured National Highways’ £1.2 billion Lower Thames crossing contract.

Read more about EY Item Club Forecast

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That’s all for today. Tomorrow: Primark

Our liveblog coverage today concludes after London-based pub chain Fuller’s said £4 million was to be knocked off industrial action in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The Evening Standard City desk will be back at 7am tomorrow where we will find out whether Primark owners ABF are able to capitalize on the cost of living crisis with a boost in sales over the festive period.

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National Grid tells Drax coal unit to restart tomorrow morning

National Grid has asked the Drax coal unit to resume operations as it seeks to ensure homes have an adequate supply of electricity amid a surge in energy demand during colder temperatures.

National Grid warned yesterday that it had put several coal-fired power units on standby as a precautionary measure.

According to figures from iamkate.com, the contribution of coal to UK electricity generation is generally around 2%.

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FTSE 100 closes up 22 points: Evening Wrap

The FTSE 100 closed 22 points higher at 7,793 at the end of the day’s trading session in London, starting the week on a positive note and raising hopes that the index would hit a record high before the end of the month in dispute.

Online grocery retailer Ocado was the biggest gainer today, rising almost 4% to 736p. It’s early days but Ocado has been one of the best performing stocks so far this year — up more than 13% over the past three weeks.

It was a less encouraging story for sterling, which looked tired after its strong start to 2023, falling back against the dollar and lagging behind the $1.24 level, as investors were already banking on the bank. In England, looking forward to next week’s monetary policy decision. Sense of direction

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The Lunar New Year has boosted investor confidence and hopes that interest rate hikes are finally in sight after China lifted its harsh Covid restrictions. Can get it. There have been indications that the economy may prove more resilient in a downturn.

“The relief that inflation has finally peaked is clear, and a multitude of data show central bank policies aimed at reducing demand are working.”

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Big decisions needed on green growth as UK lags behind rivals – CBI chief

Britain is falling behind international rivals on green growth, the head of the Confederation of British Industry has warned, as he urged the government to take “big decisions” to boost the economy.

Tony Danker called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt “not to shy away from tough decisions that could reverse the trajectory of the UK” in his Spring Budget falling investment.

In a speech at University College London, the CBI Director General said: “Developments still matter.

This is the time for us to make the tough decisions that not only create forward momentum to limit the downturn this year, but also help us actually move forward.

“The PM determined less than a year ago what was needed to transform our economy. There are thoughts.

“Let’s stop second-guessing ourselves and get on because there’s money on the table to be captured right now.”

He argued that “our international competitors in Europe, Asia and the Americas are going hell for leather on green development and investing firms.

“We are behind them now and hoping for the best.

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Ofcom will investigate BT’s customer contract information compliance

The regulator has announced that Ofcom has launched an investigation into its compliance with its obligation to provide customers with clear and simple contract information before signing up for a new deal.

Telecom providers have been required to give customers contract information and a brief – usually one-page – summary of key contract terms before signing up since June last year.

However, in October Ofcom launched an investigation into EE – which is part of BT Group – after suspecting it may have failed to comply with the requirements.

Ofcom said on Monday: “We have since received information that Plusnet – another BT subsidiary – may also fail to comply with these requirements.

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Wall Street starts the week with slight gains

New York’s S&P 500 ticked higher at the start of a week in which a brisk round of earnings news will compete with Washington politics to trade on fourth-quarter growth data that will be closely watched on Thursday. Will be kept

As Monday trading began, the S&P 500 was steady, up 9 points at 3892.1, up 0.2%.

While a deal is expected to be struck to remove limits on the amount the US government can borrow, the series of corporate reports began with a muted response to earnings from oilfield services group Baker Hughes. Its shares were up about 2 per cent.

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New York on course for a steady start to business

Wall Street’s main stock indexes were edging to a muted open, with investors eyeing Washington for signs of progress on the need to raise the US government’s debt limit.

With borrowing exceeding the debt limit by 31.4 trillion pounds last week, Democrats and Republicans need to agree measures to take over this to keep government spending smooth. Republicans are calling for a lower budget for the Biden administration in order to agree to an overall higher cap.

The political tussle on Capitol Hill comes ahead of national US economic growth data for the fourth quarter due on Thursday, which has been a regular feature of volatile politics on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, traders are also eyeing a soft rate hike outlook from the Federal Reserve.

This left the S&P 500 with an initial gain of 4 points, or 0.1%, at 3992.0.

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Pound eases back against dollar with BOE February rate call already attracting attention

Sterling looked fatigued after its strong start to 2023, falling against the dollar and falling just shy of the $1.24 level with investors looking ahead to next week’s monetary policy decision at the Bank of England. Been watching since.

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The pound fell 0.3 percent to $1.2355 in the session. Throughout January, there has been a broad trend for a weaker dollar, in line with the outlook for smaller rate hikes in the US, which have particularly lifted the euro against the US currency, amid sentiment that the euro needed a larger hike. Is. region. Monetary policy is going to get tighter in Britain next week.

Chris Turner at Dutch bank ING said: “Markets now price a further 0.45% Bank of England hike at next week’s meeting.” is allowed.

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FTSE 100 midday movers: St James’s Place bottoms out while Ocado tops

St James’s Place closed at the bottom of the FTSE 100 today as stocks in actively run Citi funds got off to a weak start to the year.

The decline for one of the UK’s biggest money managers came after analysts at HSBC dropped a “buy” rating on the stock. Biting it to “hold”. During this. Barclays cut its price target on St James’ Place to 1507p from 1509p.

Ocado was back at the top of the market, with a swift investment case for the online grocery and e-commerce tech provider eliminating doubts about the outlook for revenue growth in its retail operations.

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Spotify cuts workforce by 6% after slowing revenue growth

Spotify has slashed 6% of its global workforce, as the firm said its operating costs outpaced its revenue growth.

The music streaming service said it would begin face-to-face talks with affected employees, who will receive an average of 5 months’ severance pay.

Spotify boss Daniel Ek said: Like many other leaders, I expected strong tailwinds from the pandemic to remain and recognized that our broader global business and less exposure to the impact of the slowdown in advertising would propel us.

‘I was very ambitious in investing ahead of my revenue growth,’ he said.

“And for that reason, today, we are reducing our employee base by approximately 6% across the company. I take full responsibility for the steps that have brought us here today.

The Stockholm-based company, which has 6,600 employees according to its most recent annual report, had laid off more than 400 employees as part of the move.

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Credit: www.standard.co.uk /

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