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FTSE Closes Down Amid Continuing Worries About Omicron

12/02/2021 | 12:11pm EST

The FTSE 100 closed lower Thursday in a week marked by losses, with continental European markets still firmly in the red. Investors are still worried about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, says Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG. "What is clear is that the see-saw week is still with us," Mahony says.

 
Companies News: 

AJ Bell FY 2021 Assets Under Administration Rose, Increases Dividend

AJ Bell PLC said Thursday that total assets under administration for fiscal 2021 rose, that it increased the dividend payout and has announced a new chief financial officer.

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Digitalbox Sees 2021 Earnings Significantly Above Market Views; Shares Rise

Shares in Digitalbox PLC rose Thursday after it said it expects 2021 revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be significantly ahead of market consensus.

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ULS Technology 1H Pretax Loss Widened; Revenue Rose

ULS Technology PLC on Thursday said pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2022 widened significantly, though revenue increased on higher demand.

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SRT Marine Systems 1H Loss Widened; Expects Strong FY 2022 Performance

SRT Marine Systems PLC said Thursday that its loss widened in the first half of fiscal 2022 after booking higher costs, but that it expects a considerably improved full-year outcome.

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Thames Water 1H Net Loss Widened Despite 10% Ebitda Rise

Thames Water Utilities Ltd. on Thursday reported a widened loss for the first half of fiscal 2022, driven by a noncash loss on financial instruments and a one-off deferred tax charge.

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Induction Healthcare 1H 2022 Pretax Loss Widened; FY 2022 Revenue in Line With Views

Induction Healthcare Group PLC said Thursday that its pretax loss widened for the first half of fiscal 2022 after booking higher costs, and that revenue for the year was in line with market expectations.

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Belvoir 10-Month Performance Beat Management Views; Full-Year Profit to Rise

Belvoir Group PLC said Thursday that its performance in the first ten months of the year was ahead of its expectations, and it predicts its full-year profit to rise.

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Bigblu Shares Rise on Higher Earnings, Revenue Expectations for FY 2021

Shares in Bigblu Broadband PLC rose Thursday after it said it expects to report higher adjusted earnings and revenue from continuing operations for fiscal 2021, and that it is confident about further progress in fiscal 2022.

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Rambler Metals Agrees to $5 Mln Equity Raise to Complete Funding for Ming Mine

Rambler Metals & Mining PLC said Thursday that it has agreed to a revised financing package for the re-development of its Ming copper-gold mine in Canada.

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Digitalbox Sees 2021 Earnings Significantly Above Market Views; Shares Rise -- Update

Shares in Digitalbox PLC rose Thursday after the company said it expects 2021 revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be significantly ahead of market consensus.

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Sistema 3Q Profit Fell Despite 22% Revenue Growth

Sistema JSFC said Thursday that its profits declined in the third quarter.

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Toople Raises GBP380,000 in Placing; Proposes Capital Reorganization

Toople PLC said Thursday that it has raised around 380,000 pounds ($504,564) in a share placing, to be used for working capital purposes, and proposed a capital reorganization.

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Inland Homes Refinances Lines of Credit for Site Development

Inland Homes PLC said Thursday that it has refinanced its lines of credit for its Cheshunt Lakeside development, reducing funding costs to develop the Hertfordshire site.

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ITV CFO Chris Kennedy Takes On Additional COO Role

ITV PLC said Thursday that group Chief Financial Officer Chris Kennedy has also taken on the role of chief operating officer with immediate effect.

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Abrdn to Buy Interactive Investor for GBP1.49 Bln

Abrdn PLC said Thursday that it has agreed to acquire U.K. investment platform interactive investor Ltd. for 1.49 billion pounds ($1.98 billion).

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Capita Says Co-operative Bank Has Terminated Mortgage-Services Contract

Capita PLC said Thursday that the Co-operative Bank PLC has decided to terminate its mortgage-services contract with the company, as the bank is re-integrating its mortgage-servicing operation back into its business in 2022.

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Hammerson Sees FY 2021 Adjusted Earnings of No Less Than GBP60 Mln

Hammerson PLC said Thursday that it now expects fiscal 2021 adjusted earnings of no less than 60 million pounds ($79.7 million), assuming no further Covid-19-related disruption.

 
Market Talk: 

UK Energy Bills Could Rise by 50%, RBC Capital Markets Says

1044 GMT - U.K. customer bills may go up by around 50% from the current levels of GBP1,277 per annum, reflecting the trailing impact of higher commodity prices into the price cap and the mutualization of costs associated with bankruptcies, RBC Capital Markets says. And this is hardly likely to go by unnoticed by politicians, and could result in further unwanted interventions, the bank warns. Zog Energy this week became the 25th U.K. energy supplier to go bust since August. "If we include Bulb and its 1.7 million customers we now have around 3.7 million customer that have been impacted by the current crisis," RBC says.

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Fashion's Supply Squeeze Could Mean Higher Prices Long Ahead

1018 GMT - Supply problems pose a threat to fashion's likely rapid recovery beyond pre-pandemic profit levels next year, and could entail long-lasting price increases for consumers, McKinsey says in its State of Fashion 2022 report alongside trade publication the Business of Fashion. A vast majority of fashion executives polled by the report's authors expect supply-chain disruption to drag margins next year, with material shortages, transportation bottlenecks and higher shipping expenses increasing costs across the industry. The resultant supply-demand imbalance will entail price increases that could endure into the longer term, the report says.

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Pound Likely to Rise Vs Euro, Stay Flat Vs Dollar if BOE Lifts Rates

1008 GMT - The pound should rise against the euro but trade sideways versus the dollar in 2022 as the Bank of England is likely to start raising interest rates in December, Commerzbank says. The BOE will deliver only "very moderate" rate rises in coming quarters but EUR/GBP will fall as the BOE is still ahead of the European Central Bank in tightening policy, Commerzbank's You-Na Park-Heger says. "Against the USD, we expect more or less a sideways movement, as both central banks will exit their expansionary monetary policy, the BOE a tad earlier, but the Federal Reserve then at a higher pace." By December 2022, Commerzbank sees GBP/USD little changed at 1.33 and EUR/GBP falling to 0.81, from 0.8506 currently.

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Oil Shares Gain as Crude Prices Rise Ahead of OPEC Meet

1004 GMT - Oil stocks buck the trend of a falling market on the back of rising crude prices ahead of a meeting of OPEC and its allies. Oil is down about 15% from before the omicron coronavirus variant was announced as capitulation trades--speculators giving up on hopes of higher prices and selling--pressured options dealers into selling futures to hedge their exposure, BDSwiss says. "I think there's a good chance they could decide to pause their planned 400,000 barrel-a-day output increase in response to the Omicron virus," BDSwiss analyst Marshall Gittler says. Brent crude gains 2.1% to $70.31 a barrel. BP, Eni, Repsol, Royal Dutch Shell and TotalEnergies all rise.

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UK Economy Is Set to Grow Strongly Next Year But Not as Much as in 2021

0945 GMT - The U.K.'s economic growth in 2022 should be strong by recent historical standards provided that the Omicron variant doesn't result in renewed restrictions, Oxford Economics's chief U.K. economist Andrew Goodwin says. GDP growth will likely slow from the pandemic economic rebound in 2021, and the recovery will enter a tougher phase as policy support is being withdrawn, he says. However, both household consumption and corporate investment should support growth in 2022, as deductions encourage firms to spend some of their cash and consumers spend some of their excess savings, Goodwin says. Inflation fears should calm in the second half of the year as there is little evidence of underlying pressures building and commodity prices should fall back, he says.

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Write to Sarka Halas at sarka.halas@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-02-21 1211ET

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