Scots GDP flat | Co-op sells petrol forecourts to Asda
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5pm: London reverses gains
London’s blue chip FTSE 100 index reversed a healthy opening and closed 77.48 points lower at 7,284.15.
9.30am: Economy flat in second quarter
Scotland’s Chief Statistician said the economy stayed flat at 0.0% during the second quarter of 2022, covering the period April to June.
Monthly statistics also released today show that GDP is estimated to have contracted by 0.8% in June, with decreases across the services and production sectors.
Over the year, compared to the second quarter of 2021, the economy has grown by 3.5%.
During the second quarter output in the Construction sector grew by 2.3%, output in Production contracted by 0.5%, and output in the Services sector contracted by 0.1%.
The second estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2022 will be available in Quarterly National Accounts Scotland, published on 2 November 2022.
8.05am: London opens higher
The FTSE 100 was up 14.02 points at 7,375.65 while the broader FTSE 250 firmed 27.18 points.
7am: Co-op forecourt deal
The Co-operative Group is sell its 129-strong petrol forecourt chain to supermarket giant Asda in a deal worth around £600 million.
The proceeds will help fund new convenience stores in more communities, as well fund as its growing wholesale, franchise and e-commerce operations, and reduce debt, the Co-op said.
The sale will see 5% of Co-op’s entire retail estate – including 129 petrol stations and three development sites – handed over to Asda, which already runs 230 petrol stations across the UK.
Asda will pay £438 million in cash and take on around £162m of lease liabilities as part of the deal, with the final amount set to be confirmed on completion later this year.
7am: Food prices soar
Food prices increased at their fastest pace since 2008 in August rising by 9.3% after a 7% increase in July.
The British Retail Consortium and NielsenIQ index said the increases resulted from the war in Ukraine and its effect on the price of animal feed, fertiliser, wheat, and vegetable oils.
Fresh food prices were up 10.5% compared to last year, up from the 8% annual increase recorded in July, with products such as milk and margarine seeing the biggest rises.
Investors are likely to be encouraged by better-than-expected Chinese factory data. While output shrank in August for the second month in a row, the contraction was not as bad as feared.
The Shanghai Composite was flat, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 0.6%. However, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was down 0.5%.
In the US, Wall Street ended lower amid concerns over a tightening of monetary policy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.0%, the S&P 500 was 1.1% lower, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.1%.