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London mood rises | Parsley Box serves tennis tea

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5pm: London kicks off week in positive mood

The FTSE 100 closed 49.51 points higher at 7,258.32, though the mood dimmed as the US unexpectedly opened lower.

Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, said: “Investors are really struggling to fathom which way the wind is blowing. US markets in particular have struggled to find direction, are people prepared to stop hovering over the buy button on stocks that now look like real bargains, or will they keep vacillating between nervousness and optimism?”

Miners advanced after coming under selling pressure last week in the wake of recession worries. Antofagasta finished as the top performer in the FTSE 100, up 3.3%, while Anglo American rose 2.2% and Glencore added 1.5%.

Brent oil was quoted at $114.74 a barrel at the London equities close Monday, up from $113.44 late Friday. Oil majors BP and Shell rose 1.3% and 1.2% respectively.

Trading lower was online grocer Ocado, closing down 1.2% after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to ‘neutral’ from ‘outperform’.

Shares in AIM-traded CareTech jumped 21% after accepting a £870.3 million takeover bid tabled by a consortium which features the residential social care and education services firm’s founders.


11.30am: Recession forecast

The UK could enter a “mild recession” next year, KMPG said in its latest economic outlook. 

Its outlook is based on an anticipated drop in spending now that UK consumer confidence is dragging at an all-time low.  

The Big Four accounting firm forecasts that growth in the UK’s gross domestic product will more than halve this year to 3.2%, slowing to about 0.7% in 2023.  


8.15am: London higher

The FTSE 100 was trading 40 points higher at 7,249.36.


7.30am: STV wins C5 commission

Channel 5 has announced a new series commission which forms part of the channel’s expansion, bringing original programming to daytime. The Great Auction Showdown with Paul Martin is to be produced by STV Studios in Scotland

Full story here


7am: CareTech agrees takeover

Social care services firm CareTech Holdings has agreed to be bought by a consortium led by its co-founders for £870.3 million.

The board of CareTech Holdings, consists of veteran Scottish corporate adviser Jamie Cumming (pictured), Dr Moira Livingston and Adrian Stone.

Full story here


7am: PZ Cussons sees sales growth

Consumer goods and healthcare company PZ Cussons, whose brands include Imperial Leather soap, said it expected annual group revenue of around £590m with like-for-like growth of 3%.

Final quarter like-for-like sales grew 7% as it maintained full-year profits guidance.

Chief executive Jonathan Myers said the trading environment continued to be challenging, with high input cost inflation and pressures on household budgets, but Cussons had plans in place to mitigate the impact.”


7am: Parsley Box serves Wimbledon package

Following the success of Afternoon Tea for Two for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Edinburgh-based company Parsley Box, the direct-to-consumer provider of ready meals to the over 65s, has launched a Cream Tea for Two with Pimms package during the Wimbledon fortnight.

While the Jubilee Tea for Two was limited to 4,000, the Cream Tea for Two and its variants will be unlimited in volume.

CEO of Parsley Box, Kevin Dorren said innovation and key partnerships were a key part of the strategy to drive incremental revenues, order frequency and average order value over time. 

“Our plan includes offering a wider range of relevant  goods to our customers which they have demonstrated that they are keen to enjoy.”


Global markets

London was expected to open higher after equities in Asia mirrored the rebound seen on Wall Street last Friday as investors took a more positive view of the ability of central bankers to tackle the worst inflationary cycle in a generation.

Japan’s Nikkei rallied 1.04% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.46%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.65%.

The G7 meeting of the world’s leading economic powers took a unified line on Russia with a pledge of continued support for Ukraine.

However, crude oil fell in volatile trading as the market grapples with concerns that a global economic slowdown could depress demand amid worries about lost Russian supply.

Brent crude was trading at $112.78 a barrel, down 34 cents, and WTI at $107.17, down 45 cents.



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