FTSE 100 Live 23 May: ‘Pressure on the Bank of England to raise rates’


Tech big Palantir to reduce scores of jobs in London

Tech big Palantir is planning to axe scores of jobs from its London workplace, the Standard can reveal.

The Colorado-based information analytics enterprise co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel is consulting on proposals to slash as many as 75 jobs from the capital. That would characterize a reduce of simply over 12% of its UK workforce, based mostly on worker numbers disclosed in its most up-to-date accounts filed with Companies House.

Last yr, the agency was reportedly exploring increasing to open a second UK base in the north of England, probably close to the NHS Digital headquarters in Leeds. But these plans at the moment are underneath evaluate and a ultimate resolution has but to be taken.

Palantir declined to remark. It follows an earlier spherical of cuts introduced by the enterprise in February, during which it laid off 2% of its world workforce. The agency beforehand mentioned in a press release: “We believe our company is at an inflection point and to continue to evolve, we are making the tough choice of reducing teams in several areas. These are incredibly painful decisions but the right ones for the company’s future.”

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‘Pressure on the Bank of England to raise rates’

Ashley Webb, UK economist at Capital Economics, saidthe continued energy of the providers economic system might be driving cussed inflation, whcih might drive the Bank of England to raise charges additional.

“May’s PMIs suggest that economic growth is being supported by the services sector while manufacturing activity continues to contract,” Webb mentioned.

“The strength in services activity may be supporting persistent domestic inflationary pressures, which will increase the pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates above 4.50% at the next policy meeting in June.”

Economists at Capital had beforehand anticipated rates of interest would peak at 4.5%, however keep there for a protracted interval of time.


London fintech Paydock secures £25 million funding spherical

Payments orchestration enterprise Paydock has turn into the newest London fintech to appeal to an eight-figure funding spherical, the Standard can reveal.

The Southwark-based enterprise, which manages cost suppliers on behalf of purchasers, has secured a £25 million collection A spherical led by enterprise capital agency Silverstripe. Paydock declined to verify the firm’s new valuation after the spherical.

The firm was launched in Australia in 2015 earlier than shifting to London in 2018. Lincolne mentioned it had turn into harder to safe funding amid a fall in fintech valuations however that traders are persevering with to again tech corporations with a powerful enterprise case.

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Paydock founder Rob Lincolne

/ Paydock


Pound falls beneath $1.24

The pound has fallen to its lowest stage in additional than a month, following the newest UK PMI information.

A pound buys $1.2388, which is its lowest worth since early April. It reached $1.26 earlier this month.

That comes as the S&P Global CIPS PMI discovered that sturdy wage inflation meant service suppliers skilled the quickest rise of their price burdens for 3 months.

One pound additionally buys €1.1486.


UK will keep away from recession in 2023 – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mentioned it’s not anticipating the UK to enter a recession this yr.

In an replace to latest forecasts, it mentioned: “Buoyed by resilient demand in the context of declining energy prices, the UK economy is expected to avoid a recession and maintain positive growth in 2023.”

But it mentioned the outlook for progress stays “subdued”, forecasting progress of 0.4% this yr.

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Property corporations larger in FTSE 100, Cranswick leads FTSE 250

Shares in grocery store sausages agency Cranswick immediately led the FTSE 250 index after it racked up a 33rd yr of dividend progress.

The East Yorkshire-based agency, which has 22 UK services using 13,700 individuals, mentioned it had been a 3rd yr of “unprecedented disruption” however that adjusted income nonetheless rose by 2.3% to £140.1 million.

While the FTSE 250 agency continues to press the case for the UK farming and the wider meals producer sector, it mentioned the problem of discovering sufficient prime quality expert butchers had meant recruiting from the Philippines.

Chief government Adam Couch mentioned the transfer got here at a major price however that it had safeguarded service ranges when some in the sector had to reduce manufacturing due to the ongoing labour shortages.

Shares rose 5% or 140p to 3280p as Couch unveiled a 5% enhance in the full-year dividend award to 79.4p a share.

Cranswick shares posted the greatest efficiency of the FTSE 250 index, with different mid-cap risers together with the quick vogue chain ASOS with a rebound of 4% or 17.8p to 461.3p.

The FTSE 250 index stood 0.3% or 58.70 factors larger at 19,332.40, representing a session of outperformance after London’s blue-chip index was held again by ongoing uncertainty over US debt ceiling negotiations.

The prime flight added 5.39 factors to 7776.38, with British Land and Land Securities in demand following share value beneficial properties of 2%.

The largest fall got here from parts provider RS Group, which retreated 4% or 36.2p to 816.6p after it revealed in-line annual outcomes however mentioned buying and selling in the first first seven weeks of the monetary yr pointed to slower industrial progress.

In the FTSE All-Share, navy headgear provider Avon Protection fell 100p to 870p as its interim outcomes included cautious steerage for its respiratory division.


ITV invests in pet tracker agency PitPat

ITV will make investments £3 million in pet tracker agency PitPat, as half of its “media-for-equity” funding fund AdVentures.

Ads for PitPat — which makes GPS trackers and well being displays for canines — will seem on ITV and the ITVX streaming service, in the hope that the broadcast big will then see monetary returns from the new publicity.

ITV will make investments £3 million in pet tracker agency PitPat, as half of its “media-for-equity” funding fund AdVentures (Andrew Milligan/PA)

/ PA Archive

Sheena Amin, director of AdVentures, mentioned: “We know that ITV viewers index highly as pet owners and I’m confident that we can help drive category awareness for pet GPS trackers and put PitPat on the map at the same time.”

ITV will subscribe for £3 million in shares and can have the possibility to purchase one other £1 million price.

PitPat employs 33 and made a £1.7 million loss final yr.


City Comment

In concept, the authorities is eager on balancing the books, spending no extra to run the nation than it receives in tax. That sounds prudent – individuals get it.

In actuality, it’s a million miles off that purpose to the extent that one wonders whether it is even real looking.

Today’s purple ink flows like this: Borrowing hit £25.6 billion in April, practically £12 billion greater than for the identical month final yr.

That was principally the prices of advantages and of serving to households cope with power associated inflation. The authorities had to spend this cash. It might have jiggled issues round a bit otherwise, however the quantities would have been roughly the identical.

Interest payable on the nationwide debt was £9.8 billion in April alone.

There’s a great distance to get from there to a supposedly balanced funds and a few pre-election sweeteners to jaded voters.

The Chancellor immediately insists that’s nonetheless his plan, nonetheless actuality seems to be.

Maybe it’s time to change the debate right here and settle for that authorities debt is just going a method – up.

A extra imaginative opposition might embrace the debt and admit it isn’t possible to fall any time quickly even when it will get elected.

It might say that the curiosity funds on the debt principally come again to us a method or the different. And that the level of the spending is to enhance our youngsters’s inheritance, quite than burden them with liabilities.

The authorities runs a deficit to create a surplus elsewhere – with us, it might add.

Then we might have an sincere dialog no less than about why we run deficits, which we practically at all times do, and why they’re typically cheaper than the various, which is to let all the things collapse.

If you suppose money owed are costly, attempt an financial despair.


UK personal sector progress slows in May

The UK personal sector grew once more in May, however the fee of progress was down, in accordance to a intently watched indicator.

The S&P Global / CIPS Flash UK PMI got here in at 53.9, down from April’s 54.9 and beneath the anticipated 54.6. But with any determine above 50 representing progress, the studying ought to proceed  to enhance hopes that the UK avoids recession.

The figures would recommend GDP progress of round 0.4% in the second quarter of the yr.

“However, this growth spurt is driving renewed inflationary pressures, as service providers struggle to meet demand and hence not only offer higher wages to attract staff but also find themselves able to charge more for their services,” Chris Williamson, chief enterprise economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, mentioned.


SSP does deal to carry Brewdog to London airports

Upper Crust proprietor SSP will carry Brewdog’s pubs to railway stations and airports throughout the UK, beginning with Gatwick this yr, by means of a brand new tie-up.

SSP mentioned the Gatwick bar will embrace Brewdog’s “signature design elements” like Zoom pods and a recreation house, alongside a menu “tailored for the airport location”.

Kari Daniels, SSP UK & Ireland CEO, mentioned: “BrewDog is a globally renowned brand with an incredible back-story and huge potential to do well in the travel space.”


Today SSP additionally revealed revenue for the six months to 31 March grew sixfold to £90.5 million. It mentioned progress was pushed by home and leisure journey at airports and prepare stations, whereas enterprise journey was slower to recuperate.

SSP now expects full-year income to be shut to £280 million, the higher finish of its earlier steerage.

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