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Primark | EasyJet | Pfizer acquires stake in Valneva



5pm: Markets stage bullish open to week

Equities in London kicked off the new week in bullish mood, with oil majors and financials leading a rebound from last week’s losses.

BP, HSBC and Shell were among the top risers in FTSE 100 which closed up 105.56 points, or 1.5%, at 7,121.81.

8.20am: Market higher

London’s blue chip index defied predictions of a fall by opening higher, peaking above 30 points in early trades. At 8.20am the FTSE 100 was 21.76 points higher at 7,038.01.

7am: Primark launches click and collect trial

Primark is launching a click and collect trial in 25 stores in the northwest of England.

Parent company Associated British Foods said there had been a “positive customer reaction” to the April launch of Primark’s new website in the UK which showcases many more products and offers stock availability by store.

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7am: EasyJet cuts flights

EasyJet is cutting flights to 87% of 2019 levels following the reduction in flights being handled at Gatwick and Amsterdam.

The airline said its decision provides customers with advance notice and the potential to rebook onto alternative flights.

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7am: Pfizer invests in Valneva

US healthcare giant Pfizer is acquiring an 8.1% stake in French vaccine producer Valneva for €90.5 million, consolidating an ongoing collaboration between the two companies.

Valneva, which is investing in its plant in Livingston, said it will use the proceeds from Pfizer’s equity investment to support its Lyme disease programme. It also produces a vaccine for Covid-19.

Chief executive Thomas Lingelbach said: “Pfizer’s investment in Valneva highlights the quality of the work that we’ve done together over the past two years and is a strong recognition of Valneva’s vaccine expertise.”

Global markets

Recession relief seems unlikely this week with UK inflation figures expected to show another alarmingly high reading that could push the Bank of England into hiking at a faster pace.

Japan did not join the global uplift in base rates last week but the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was down 1.1% this morning. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 0.1%.

Wall Street futures managed slight gains amid ongoing indications that the US Federal Reserve will commit to an aggressive policy on fighting inflation.

Bitcoin slipped 3% to $19,897, having bounced sharply over the weekend amid talk of a single large buyer.

Oil prices edged down again after a sharp retreat late last week amid concerns high energy prices were adding to risks of a global recession which would ultimately curb demand. Brent crude fell 10 cents to $113.02 per barrel, while US crude lost 27 cents to $109.29.

Germany is to burn more coal as it seeks to limit its use of Russian gas. Economy minister Robert Habeck admitted it meant his country would be raising usage of a highly polluting fossil fuel to ensure its energy security.

Last month the EU agreed to halt most Russian oil imports but an embargo on its gas is a long way off. Russia supplies about 27% of the union’s imported oil and 40% of its natural gas.

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