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Market digests tax rises | Ted Baker sales shift

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5pm: London lower

The FTSE 100 index was down 37.81 points, or 0.5% at 7,149.37, only just above the session low of 7,147.94, as investors digested news of a hike in dividend tax.


2pm: NI, dividends cut, pension rise lowered

A new health and social care tax will be introduced on all workers from next year along with a hike in tax on income from dividends and a lower rise in the state pension.

Full story here: plus how the changes affect Scotland


9.30am: Parsley Box shares plunge

Shares in Parsley Box, the Scottish direct to consumer ready meals firm, plummeted 15% in early trade after pre-tax losses widened.

AJ Bell Investment director Russ Mould said: “With the shares having nearly halved on the 200p at which they floated in March, Parsley Box has a lot to do to generate investor appetite for its story.”

Full story here


9.15am: Bank backs Nova

Simon Forrest

Tidal energy pioneer Nova Innovation has secured £6.4 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank to fund manufacturing and distribution of its innovative subsea tidal turbines. The investment will see Nova increase its presence across the UK and expand into new global markets.

Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation, said: “We are passionate about creating sustainable energy solutions and have proven that our tidal turbines meet all our client requirements in the toughest of environments.”

Full story here


8am: London opens lower

The FTSE 100 opened 18.7 points lower as forecast (see below) at 7,168.48.


7am: Cairn sees end to India tax dispute

Cairn-Energy-India

Cairn Energy, the Edinburgh-based oil and gas explorer, said it expects near term resolution to the India tax issue that will enable further shareholder returns and acceleration of strategy. Up to $700m will be returned to shareholders via a special dividend and buyback.

The update on the long-running tax dispute with the Indian government comes after the New Delhi parliament voted to scrap a retrospective law.

Full story here


7am: Parsley Box losses grow

Parsley Box, the Scottish direct to consumer ready meals firm, said it was making “encouraging” progress despite pre-tax losses widening to £5.4 million for the half year to the end of June, against a loss of £1.02m last year.

Full story here


7am: Nucleus founder leaves

Nucleus founder David Ferguson is to leave the company following its acquisition by James Hay.

Mr Ferguson will step down from the board with immediate effect and his responsibilities will be taken on by CEO Richard Rowney.

Full story here


7am: Fewer promotions at Ted Baker

Bosses at high street fashion chain Ted Baker have said they will be relying less on heavy promotions and focusing on trying to sell more clothes at full price under a recovery plan.

The retailer said the strategy has seen online sales fall as a result but managers remain unconcerned as the business recovered strongly following the end of Covid-19 restrictions in most regions.

Sales in the 16 weeks to August 14 rose 50% compared with the same period a year ago – when stores were closed for some of the time during the first national lockdowns.


Global markets

Asian stock indices are mostly higher this morning and Wall Street is expected to follow suit after the Labor Day holiday, but London is tipped to be a laggard and the FTSE 100 was called to open 17 points lower.

Global stocks hit a record high for the eighth straight session as investors anticipate a delay to the US Federal Reserve‘s tapering of its asset purchases in the light of weaker jobs data.

Wider sentiment is being helped by China trade data, as exports and imports came in stronger than expectations.

Japanese shares maintained their upward trajectory on hopes the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will offer a further boost to economic stimulus.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rallied as much as 1.3%, moving through the 30,000 barrier for the first time since April.

London was expected to be more subdued after data overnight from the British Retail Consortium showed a 3% rise in retail sales for August, a sharp slowing from the 6.4% gain in July and is the weakest month since February.

Food sales increased 2.9% year-on-year against a 12 month average of 5.4%, while non-food retail sales jumped 10%, which was 14% below average.



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