Daily Business Live
Zoom sees hybrid working boost; shop prices warning
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4.30pm: Market closes higher
The FTSE 100 closed up 28 points, 0.4%, at 7,108, while the FTSE 250 gained 58 points, 0.3%, to 22,933.
9am: Oil lifts shares
The FTSE 100 built on yesterday’s strong performance to trade solidly higher, lifted by rising oil prices which boosted the big energy firms on the index, BP and Shell.
Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “An upbeat assessment of demand from producers’ cartel OPEC and the waning prospect of a big increase in Iranian supply have helped support a rally in crude prices.
“Positive US manufacturing figures overnight offered the latest insight into the pace of the recovery across the pond and jobs figures on Friday may give further indication of whether the world’s largest economy is gently simmering or at risk of boiling over.
“Budget airline Wizz Air laid bare the predicament facing the airlines in stark terms as it reported a big annual loss, saying there would be further losses in the current financial year without an ‘accelerated and permanent’ lifting of restrictions. This could prove a forlorn hope as governments look to contend with the threat posed by Covid variants.”
The FTSE 100 was trading 29 points higher at 7,109.63.
7am: Burton’s Biscuits acquired
Nutella owner Ferrero has agreed a deal to snap up Jammie Dodgers manufacturer Burton’s Biscuits.
Zoom Video Communications believes demand will continue to rise even as the economy gets back to normal and workers return to offices.
It has forecast current quarter revenue above estimates, as the adoption of hybrid work models by companies is expected to drive growth in its video conferencing tools.
Zoom said revenue nearly tripled to $956.2m in the quarter to the end of April.
The California-based company said it is forecasting current quarter revenue in the range of $985-990m, above Wall Street forecasts.
Analysts are questioning the sustainability of Zoom’s growth, especially with rivals Microsoft, Cisco and Google also taking a bite out of the virtual meetings market.
The rising number of free users on Zoom’s platform has led to a 155% jump in costs to $265m.
Shop prices rising
Shops prices will come under pressure from rising food, shipping, and commodity costs, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned.
“Retailers may be forced to pass on some costs onto their customers,” said BRC chief Helen Dickinson.
“We will likely see the costs filter through in the second half of this year,” she said.
Retail prices in May dipped as clothing and footwear prices fell, it said.
Investors were looking for clarity over the direction of policy and will look ahead to Friday’s US non-farm payroll numbers as well as any fresh comment from officials at the Federal Reserve later today.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.38% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.53%.
Wall Street was similarly mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.86 points, or 0.13%; the S&P 500 lost 2.07 points, or 0.05%; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 12.26 points, or 0.09%.