Daily Business Live

Inflation dips | retail sales ‘slow’ | Deliveroo progressing


5pm: Blue chips edge higher

The FTSE 100 managed to stay in positive territory, helped by gains in consumer companies and a slowing of inflation. The index closed

Consumer staples stocks including Diageo, Unilever and British American Tobacco were among top gainers, although a slide in mining stocks capped progress the prices of industrial metals fell on China’s pledge to bring down coal prices.

9.30am: Market down on interest rate talk

The FTSE 100 fell as fears grew that the Bank of England would raise interest rates as early as next month, despite an unexpected slowdown in inflation (see below).

Food delivery firm Deliveroo jumped 2.7% after raising its forecast (see below).

AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson, says: “The FTSE 100 started a bit lower on Wednesday after UK inflation moderated to come in just short of expectations.

“However, these figures are already firmly in the rear-view mirror and probably bear little comparison to current realities given the surge in energy prices and mounting supply chain issues seen in October.

“Online reviews outfit Trustpilot was getting a bad rating from investors after several major shareholders sold a chunk of their holdings at a discounted price.

“Cyber security firm Avast’s latest robust set of numbers may prompt increased regret over its impending exit from the UK market, following its merger with US rival NortonLifeLock.”

7am: Inflation falls

Money - own pic

Price rises dipped slightly in September as the economy continued to reopen, according to official figures.

The increase in the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, fell to 3.1% in the year to September, from 3.2% in August.

Higher prices for transport were the biggest contributor to price rises.

It comes after the Bank of England indicated that interest rates may have to rise to control inflation.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the inflation rate fell back slightly last month because higher prices in restaurants and cafes in August were largely down to comparisons with August of 2020, when the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme was running.

Scottish retail

Retail sales in Scotland continue to grow, though they are at their lowest rate of growth since March 2021 when Scotland was under substantial restrictions, according to figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Total sales in Scotland increased by 1.3% in September compared with September 2020. However, on a two-year basis, total retail sales continue to perform below pre-pandemic levels, with sales down 9.1% compared with September 2019.

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, head of policy & external affairs at the SRC, said: “September’s slow sales figures ended retailers hopes of a post-restrictions bounce with the weakest figures since March.

“Scottish sales only crept above last years terrible figures and were a whopping 9.1% down on pre-pandemic trading. The alarm bells are ringing louder than the tills for Scotland’s shops as we move into the crucial Christmas trading period.

7am: Deliveroo making ‘good progress’

Will Shu

Food delivery service Deliveroo reported expansion in its partnerships with Amazon and Morrisons.

In a Q3 statement Will Shu, founder and CEO, said: “We have continued to make good progress executing against our strategy, resulting in strong performance in Q3.

“This quarter we have partnered with Amazon to offer their Prime customers in the UK and Ireland access to our Deliveroo Plus subscription programme.

“We have also successfully launched a new rapid grocery service, Deliveroo Hop, in partnership with Morrisons. These are just two examples of innovations introduced this quarter that are consistently improving our consumer value proposition.

“While we are mindful of current and potential macroeconomic disruptions and uncertainties, we expect further strong performance in the remainder of the year and we are increasing our full year GTV growth guidance.

“We remain excited about the opportunity ahead and our plans to deliver better value to our consumers, help our restaurant and grocery partners to grow, and provide further opportunities for riders.”

Global markets

Asian shares advanced and US long-dated bond yields edged up to a five-month high on rising optimism about the global economy and corporate earnings.

The Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was up 0.1%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong soared 1.3%.

Wall Street ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.6%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were 0.7% higher.

Oil prices eased slightly in Asia but held near multi-year peaks as an energy supply crunch persisted across the globe.

Brent oil was trading at $84.58 a barrel, easing from $84.64 late Tuesday

US crude futures traded at $82.65 per barrel, down 0.4% on the day but near Monday’s peak of $83.18, its highest level since 2014.

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