The FTSE 100 index on Thursday closed higher despite increased energy prices, senior market analyst at IG Joshua Mahony said. The index is moving within touching distance of 19-month highs, Mr. Mahony said. "Fears around energy prices and inflation appear to have eased for now, although today's 5% rise in natural-gas prices raise the risk that this respite may be brief in nature," Mr. Mahony said, adding that "the collapse of another three U.K. energy providers this week highlight the fact that prices are going to rise sharply for providers to stay in business."
Firering Strategic Minerals Expects to Float in London Next Month
Firering Strategic Minerals PLC said Thursday that it expects to float on the London Stock Exchange in early November and use the money to acquire pilot production plants and fund exploration.
Capital & Regional to Restructure Mall Facility; Launches GBP30 Mln Fundraise
Capital & Regional PLC said Thursday that it has reached an agreement with lenders to restructure and reduce debt secured over its four mall assets, including launching a 30 million-pound ($41 million) open offer.
Purplebricks CFO to Step Down at End of October, Steve Long Named Successor
Purplebricks Group PLC said Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Andy Botha will step down from the role and board at the end of October and that it has named Steve Long as his successor.
Radiator Company Stelrad Confirms Intention to Float in London
Stelrad Group PLC, a manufacturer and distributor of steel panel radiators, on Thursday confirmed its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange.
Castelnau Exceeds Target Issue in London Float
Castelnau Group Ltd. said Thursday that it has raised gross proceeds of 53.1 million pounds ($72.5 million) in its float on the London Stock Exchange, with its market capitalization exceeding its target issue size.
Rubix Group Holdings to List on London's Main Market
Rubix Group Holdings Ltd. said Thursday that it plans to list on London's main stock market and expects to raise proceeds of around 850 million euros ($985.6 million) via a placing of new ordinary shares.
National Express Revenue Continued to Improve in 3Q -- Update
National Express Group PLC said Thursday that revenue has continued to improve in the third quarter of the year, and it backed its full-year underlying pretax profit expectations.
UK Antitrust Watchdog Is Investigating Dye & Durham's Acquisition of TM Group (UK)
The Competition and Markets Authority said Thursday that it is investigating whether Canadian cloud-based software provider Dye & Durham Ltd.'s acquisition of TM Group (UK) Ltd. may lead to a substantial lessening of competition within any U.K. markets.
Tower Operator IHS Set for Trading Debut After IPO Priced at Low End
Shares of IHS Holding Ltd. are set to make their U.S. trading debut Thursday after the wireless tower operator's initial public offering was priced at the bottom of expectations.
UK Borrowing Costs Ease as BOE's Tenreyro Plays Down Rate Rise
1049 GMT - Comments from Bank of England rate-setter Silvana Tenreyro Thursday playing down the effectiveness of raising interest rates to counter a one-off price shock help U.K. government bond prices to build on their recent small gains. Tenreyro told local Wales media that raising interest rates to tackle higher prices for energy and semi-conductors would be "self-defeating" if higher inflation is short-lived. The yield on two-year gilts, which are more sensitive to changes in interest rate expectations, falls to 0.537% Thursday, having risen as high as 0.614% in Oct. 11, the highest level since January 2020, according to Tradeweb. Bond prices move inversely to yields.
National Express Wage Deals Help Bolster Recovery
1047 GMT - National Express sequential improvement in performance across all segments has been driven by the recovery in passenger volumes, Citi says. Furthermore, aside from signing wage deals in Spain and the U.K., the transport operator is using U.S. government support to tackle driver shortages and offset some of the wage pressure as it expects pay inflation of around 5% there, Citi says. "We see the cost-mitigating measures including the two-year wage deals in Spain and the U.K. as positive," the U.S. bank says. Citi rates the stock buy with a 350-pence target price. Shares are up 2.1% at 234 pence.
Breakup of SSE Wouldn't Guarantee Value Creation, Berenberg Says
1009 GMT - A separation of SSE's network and renewables businesses could lead to more valuation transparency for both, but wouldn't guarantee value creation, Berenberg says. The U.K. energy company is reportedly under pressure from activist investor Elliott to consider a breakup. It isn't clear how SSE's other businesses would fit in this separation, the German bank says. In addition, the company's current integration supports dividend growth, as a standalone renewables business would likely prioritize capital expenditure, it says. Berenberg raises the target price to 1,690 pence from 1,300 pence reflecting more bullish long-term expectations for SSE's renewables business, but retains a hold rating after the recent share price rise.
RBC Raises European Gas-Price Forecasts
0958 GMT - A combination of factors has led to an unprecedented run-up in European gas prices, and multi-year low storage levels have left prices vulnerable to further price shocks this winter, RBC Capital Markets says. Analysts at the Canadian bank upgrade their 2021 forecast for NBP--the U.K. gas benchmark--by 21% to $13.08 per thousand cubic feet, and by 69% for 2022 to $14.16. Meanwhile, for 2023, RBC has set an estimate of $10.49, while the long-term outlook is kept unchanged at $7.00. "While Nord Stream 2 and more U.S. LNG may help alleviate some pressure into 2022, we expect price strength to persist," RBC says.
Softer Stance in BOE Rate-Setters Speeches Could Steepen Gilt Curve
0909 GMT - A softer stance about the path of interest rate rises in the U.K. from Bank of England rate-setters speaking on Thursday could prompt the gilt yield curve to steepen, says Mizuho. "There's a strong chance that today's speakers could provide more clarity on where the consensus of the Monetary Policy Committee really is, and we'd expect this consensus to favour a more gradual path than is currently priced," analysts at the bank say. This could be a catalyst to steepen gilt forwards of intermediate maturities, which beyond 2 years are now extremely flat, they says, noting that the segments between 2-year 1-year forwards and four-year 1-year forwards are now inverted.
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