Home Borrower FTSE 100 Live January 25: London stocks point higher after Wall Street rebound, borrowing figures revealed

FTSE 100 Live January 25: London stocks point higher after Wall Street rebound, borrowing figures revealed

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Wall Street set to open lower

It looks like another tough open for US markets when trading begins in New York in about half an hour.

Futures point to a 2% drop for the Nasdaq at the open, while the S&P 500 is expected to drop 1.5% at the open. Shares sold off sharply on Monday – with the Nasdaq down 4% at one point – but miraculously reversed in afternoon trading. All three key Wall Street indexes closed slightly higher.

It’s a busy day for earnings today in the US, with major players including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, American Express and Verizon.

Here in the UK, the FTSE 100 is holding up despite the futures action. The index is up about 0.8%.

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One of Britain’s most prominent tech backers has told investors to keep the faith despite a sell-off in the sector.

Baillie Gifford’s US Growth Trust today told shareholders to be brave and keep investing despite market volatility.

Management writes in its semi-annual report: “Investing in innovation and entrepreneurship is difficult. Bravery is needed on the part of entrepreneurs and investors alike. Uncertainty and volatility must be accepted. Opening your mind to possibilities is essential.

Scottish asset manager Baillie Gifford is one of Britain’s most prominent technology investors. Its FTSE 250-listed US Growth Trust manages £1 billion on behalf of clients. The top ten holdings include Netflix, Amazon and Tesla.

Read the full story.

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Marston ignores Omicron

The Marston’s chief executive expects Brits to return to the pub now that Plan B restrictions have been lifted.

Andrew Andrea told Standard: “We know there is a demand to go to the pub. We are just starting to see the numbers moving in the right direction. You just feel the confidence coming back.

Figures released this morning revealed the impact of Omicron’s restrictions on the pub group’s business. Sales were down 3.9% from pre-pandemic levels in the 16 weeks to January 12 as the December restrictions derailed the good momentum.

Andrea called Plan B an “eight week hit” and said the Christmas performances were “probably slightly better than I thought”.

Read the full story.

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The sale of arms will collapse

Nvida is quietly preparing to drop its purchase of Arm from SoftBank after making little to no progress in securing approval for the $40 billion chip deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nvidia told its partners it did not expect the deal to go through, according to one person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

SoftBank, meanwhile, is stepping up preparations for an Arm initial public offering as an alternative to buying Nvidia, another person said.

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Another setback for Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank reeling from the sudden departure of Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio, today issued a profit warning related to legal costs.

It will barely break even for the fourth quarter after setting aside 500m Swiss francs (£400m).

The bank said: “These litigation provisions have been incurred in connection with a number of cases where the Group has more proactively sought settlements and relate mainly to litigation inherited from our investment banking business.”

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Rio (finally) goes underground

/ Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has reached an agreement with the Mongolian government to finally pave the way for the start of underground operations at the Oyu Tolgoi copper project.

The FTSE 100 miner plans to start mining under the Gobi Desert within days, with full production due to begin next year.

Rio and its subsidiary Turquoise Hill have agreed to cancel £1.8bn on loan to the government to fund its share of development costs.

In return, Ulan Bator will allow Rio to import electricity from China until 2030.

When fully operational, Oyu Tolgoi will be the world’s fourth-largest copper mine, producing nearly 500,000 tonnes of the metal – a key component of electric vehicle batteries and wind farms – per year.

The deal is the first big win for new CEO Jakob Stausholm, who took over from Jean-Sebastien Jacques in the fallout from the Juukan Gorge scandal.

Stausholm now has “hope” that diplomacy can mend relations in Serbia, where the future of Rio’s £1.8 billion Jadar lithium mine hangs in the balance.

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Another blow for Amigo

An advertisement for Amigo loans

The blows keep coming for beleaguered lender Amigo.

Its shares fell another 20% to 2.5 pence on news that chief financial officer Mike Corcoran had resigned after just 14 months.

On Monday, shares fell 40% after warnings that the company would collapse if a new program to repay customers and restart loans was not approved.

It provides for a capital increase that will leave existing shareholders with less than 5% of the share capital.

It needs to raise £97million to compensate customers.

Amigo was forced to act after the High Court ruled against its earlier plans to compensate victims of its high-cost guarantor loans.

The lender’s endless dispute is over loans that had interest rates that customers would never have been able to repay.

Amigo said it “will be able to announce the appointment of a replacement CFO in the near future.”

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The shortage of skilled workers in factories is the worst since 1973

The shortage of skilled workers in British factories is the worst since 1973.

The Confederation of British Industry said its latest survey of manufacturers found the highest proportion of labor reports as a limiting factor in nearly half a century.

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the CBI, said manufacturers were “looking to invest more in training and retraining as labor shortages continue to be felt”.

Inflation is also hitting factories, with costs rising at their fastest rate since 1980. Energy costs have soared in recent months, forcing some factories to shut down their tools during peak hours.

Newton-Smith said: “Against the backdrop of rising energy prices, which add to inflationary pressures, short-term action is needed from the UK government to find urgent solutions for businesses in In the longer term, energy market reforms are needed to build resilience to future energy price shocks and create markets for renewable technologies, thereby contributing to net zero ambitions.

Despite the pressure, production continued to grow in January, the CBI said. But growth has slowed and business optimism has plummeted.

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Marston ignores Omicron’s impact

The Marston’s chief executive expects Brits to return to the pub now that Plan B restrictions have been lifted.

Andrew Andrea told Standard: “We know there is a demand to go to the pub. We are just starting to see the numbers moving in the right direction. You just feel the confidence coming back.

It came as figures revealed the impact of Omicron’s restrictions on the pub group’s business. Sales were down 3.9% from pre-pandemic levels in the 16 weeks to January 12 as the December restrictions derailed what was otherwise good momentum.

Andrea called Plan B an “eight week hit” and said the Christmas performances were “probably slightly better than I thought”.

Marstons has 1500 pubs across the UK, mostly in the suburbs.

The shares improved 1p, or 1.3%, to 79.15p.

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Chancellor gets leeway on tax hikes

THE government borrowed almost £17bn in December to support the economy as Omicron struck – less than expected, suggesting UK finances are in better shape than expected.

However, rising inflation pushed interest rate payments up to £8.1bn from £5.4bn in the same month a year ago.

Part of these payments go to the Bank of England, as it holds around a third of the public debt.

Economists say the figures give Chancellor Rishi Sunak room to ease the costs of energy bills and possibly delay tax hikes.

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