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Markets await Truss plan | Tesco profits at lower end

Liz Truss


7am: Markets watch Truss

Markets will focus on Liz Truss’s first speech as Prime Minister to the Tory party conference in which she will insist there can be no more “drift and delay” and say that her opponents “prefer protesting to doing”.

However, plans to stop benefit rises, as well as lingering frustration and anger following Monday’s u-turn on scrapping the top rate of tax, risks overshadowing her message.

The party is deeply worried about perceived handouts to the wealthy while most people struggle with the rising cost of living and the Prime Minister refuses to rule out cuts to benefits.

Investors will be keen to hear evidence that her plan will boost economic growth and the FTSE 100 was expected to open cautiously lower.

Sterling has recovered some ground after last week’s rout and was quoted at $1.1443 early today. Full story here

7am: Tesco guides to low end of profits range

Tesco said current year profits will be at the lower end of guidance as “significant uncertainties” continue to impact on consumer spending patterns.

The supermarket chain expects full-year retail adjusted operating profits of between £2.4bn and £2.5bn after statutory profits fell 64% to £413m in the six months ended 27 August.

However, the interim dividend is hiked 20.3% to 3.85p from 3.2p.

CEO Ken Murphy said: “Customers are seeking out the quality and value of our own brand ranges as they work to make their money go further.

“Despite ongoing challenges in the market, we are able to maintain our profit guidance within our previous range, albeit towards the lower end.”

Global markets

Major oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia were set to meet today as reports said they were mulling an output cut of up to two million barrels per day in a bid to prop up falling prices.

Wall Street stage a rally yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 2.8%, the S&P 500 closed 3.1% higher and the Nasdaq Composite closed 3.3% ahead.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.5%.

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