1236 GMT - Restaurant Group shares fall 3% to 42 pence after the owner of Wagamama, Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito raised its full-year adjusted earnings guidance, but said net debt had risen slightly. Strong trading is the company's best defence whilst it remains under pressure from activist shareholders, Peel Hunt says. "We believe the best solution is to allow this to continue, giving management time to grow sales, cut costs, recover profits and pay down debt over the next two years," Peel analysts say in a note, reiterating their buy recommendation and 70p price target. (philip.waller@wsj.com)


BlackRock Raises Allotment to Short-Term Government Bonds

1217 GMT - BlackRock Investment Institute trims overall underweight position to developed market nominal government bonds to lean into short-term paper, it says in a note. BlackRock, however, remains underweight to nominal government bonds due to the risks that long-term bond yields and term premium can climb higher, it says. "We believe markets will price in inflation settling above developed market central bank 2% policy targets longer term," it says. The asset manager also sees investors demanding more term premium to reflect greater risk in nominal bonds due to higher inflation volatility and rising debt levels, it says. (emese.bartha@wsj.com)


European Stocks Fall After Mixed Asia; US Set to Drop

1133 GMT - European stocks drop after mixed Asia trading and ahead of an expected lower U.S. open. The Stoxx Europe 600, FTSE 100 and CAC 40 retreat about 0.7% and the DAX backtracks 0.5%, with banking, insurance, luxury-goods and food takeaway-delivery shares among the biggest fallers. Brent crude drops 0.6% to $89.46 a barrel. Australian stocks fell 0.7%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed broadly flat, mainland Chinese shares edged 0.1% higher and Japan's Nikkei 225 rallied 0.6%. IG futures data show the Dow opening at 34570, versus Tuesday's close of 34641. "Today sees the Bank of Canada make its latest interest-rate decision, while the latest U.S. ISM services PMI will ensure the focus remains squarely on the U.S. economy," IG analysts write. (philip.waller@wsj.com)


Bridgepoint's ECP Deal Looks Fair

1119 GMT - Bridgepoint's deal for Energy Capital Partners looks around fair value, Numis analyst David McCann says in a note after the private-equity firm said it is adding the infrastructure specialist and its affiliated entities to its platform, creating a EUR57 billion global private markets asset manager. "Our initial take is neutral, on the grounds that the price appears to be fair or the higher side of fair, but we can see longer term diversification and strategic benefits for the group," he writes, placing the stock under review from a hold rating. He notes that infrastructure is generally an in demand asset class that has good growth potential, especially in ECP's home market, the U.S. Bridgepoint shares rise 6.6% at 186.5 pence. (elena.vardon@wsj.com)

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-06-23 1245ET