CMC Markets cutting 200 jobs, Vodafone holds guidance
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 11 points higher on Monday, having closed down 0.09% on Friday at 7,615.54.
Stocks to watch
Spreadbetting and CFD trading group CMC Markets is to cut 200 jobs following a cost-cutting programme expected to save £21m. The headcount reduction, which represents 17% of the total global workforce, will see the company merge support functions across multiple business lines, streamlining reporting lines and automating processes. The move will result in a one-off cost of around £2.5m to be taken in the current financial year ending 31 March, with savings realised the following year.
Telecoms giant Vodafone held full-year guidance as it reported a fall in third-quarter service revenues. The company on Monday said service revenues fell 1.4% to €9.3bn on a reported basis. Vodafone still expects adjusted core earnings of around €13.3bn and adjusted free cash flow of €3.3bn.
Hipgnosis Songs Fund responded to reports that Merck Mercuriadis had stepped down as chief executive officer of its manager Hipgnosis Songs Management on Monday. News over the weekend alleged that Mercuriadis had moved to the role of chair at the company, amid allegations involving an “unlawful diversion of business opportunities” from Hipgnosis Music to the Hipgnosis Songs Fund and its adviser. Hipgnosis Music was reportedly seeking to recover an unspecified sum through the High Court, and the company said it had appointed Kastle Solicitors to review the claim independently while seeking indemnity from Mercuriadis and Hipgnosis Songs Management for any potential liabilities arising from their actions.
The Treasury’s independent forecaster is to review the axing of tax-free shopping for tourists, raising the possibility that a decision that leisure companies and retailers have blasted for deterring visitors and losing the UK billions in sales could be reversed. With a change of heart likely to be seen as a shot in the arm for struggling businesses, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is to examine the costs and benefits associated with Rishi Sunak’s 2020 decision to end the retail scheme when he was chancellor of the exchequer. – Guardian
The ownership team behind the indebted supermarket Asda could be about to change again after one of the billionaire Issa brothers was reported to be exploring the sale of his stake in the business. Zuber Issa, 51, owns 22.5% of the grocer after a £6.8bn takeover alongside his older brother Mohsin and the private equity firm TDR Capital three years ago. – Guardian
Rishi Sunak’s stealth tax raid will hit up to 900,000 pensioners with a surprise income tax bill next year, new analysis shows. The Prime Minister’s six-year freeze on tax thresholds will force hundreds of thousands of retirees claiming a married couple’s tax break to pay a levy on their state pensions for the first time. – Telegraph
Morrisons has been hit by the abrupt departure of its stores chief as its new boss Rami Baitieh tightens his grip at the top of the supermarket. David Lepley is leaving the business four years after he was appointed group retail director, having worked at Morrisons for nearly eight years. His departure marks the latest leadership change at Morrisons, as the private equity-owned business pursues a bold transformation plan under new chief executive Mr Baitieh. – Telegraph
More than 80 per cent of British companies expect to increase the prices of their goods and services over the next two years, raising fears that inflation will not fall back to the Bank of England’s target. In a survey of companies carried out by PwC, 81 per cent said that rising energy costs, as a result of the withdrawal of government support and global political pressures, would lead them to increase prices for consumers until 2026. Surging global energy costs drove consumer prices inflation to the highest level in nearly 40 years in 2022, as well as raising transport and other costs for industry. – The Times
Stocks closed higher on Wall Street on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.35% at 38,654.42.
The S&P 500 added 1.07% to 4,958.61, and the Nasdaq Composite was ahead 1.74% at 15,628.95.
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