800,000 customers hit as Avro Energy and Green go bust - live updates

© wellsie82 Green Energy supplier gas prices –  wellsie82

  • Taxpayer-funded deal to curb CO2 shortage averts food industry crisis
  • Putin’s iron grip on energy leaves Europe increasingly vulnerable ​
  • FTSE 100 rebounds 1.4pc, above 7,000; Wall Street opens higher
  • Jeremy Warner: Energy crisis exposes deep flaws in Britain’s ‘seat of the pants’ economy
  • Sign up here for our daily business briefing newsletter

Two more energy suppliers have collapsed as the UK’s power crisis shows no signs of abating.

Avro Energy and Green Supplier have both ceased trading after surging wholesale gas prices pushed the cost of energy above the price cap.

Avro supplies gas and electricity to around 580,000 customers, while Green serves roughly 255,000 customers in the UK and some customers abroad.

Download our mobile app

Together the suppliers represent a share of 2.9pc of the domestic market.

Sign up to the Front Page newsletter for free: Your essential guide to the day’s agenda from The Telegraph – direct to your inbox seven days a week.

04:48 PM

Expert reaction: Trying to predict rate hikes is a fool’s game

Commenting on the upcoming interest rate decision in the US and UK, Ben Kumar, senior investment strategist at 7IM, says:

Trying to predict exactly when rate hikes will happen is a fool’s game. Unless you are Chair of the Federal Reserve, you really won’t be able to call it.

What we believe we can know however, is that at some point, central banks will have to begin a hiking cycle; it’s a question of when, not if. So, while we don’t expect movement tomorrow this does not mean that investors shouldn’t be preparing for rate rises and looking for opportunities that are designed to do well in a rising-rate environment – even if this is a question of years, not months. For example, we are currently positioned for this by being underweight government bonds, overweight alternatives, overweight value and underweight tech.

In fixed income, we think investors should also allocate to higher yielding parts of the universe, and towards alternatives, where possible. As interest rates begin to grind upwards again – as we believe they will – investing in the kinds of bonds which have a little more protection in the form of higher coupon payments, will be beneficial. Government bonds will still protect portfolios but aren’t going to make much in the way of returns.

04:33 PM

HSBC boss: Evergrande crisis is ‘concerning’ for markets

The chief executive of HSBC has warned that the crisis enveloping Evergrande was a worry for financial markets, but added he’s not concerned about the bank’s own exposure to Chinese real estate.

Noel Quinn said that jitters around Evergrande, which spread to global equities and commodities this week, could have wider implications, according to a Bloomberg report.

He said: “I’d be naive to think that the turmoil in the market doesn’t have the potential to have second-order and third-order impact. Clearly with the changes that are taking place in the Evergrande situation it’s concerning.

“There is a potential for second and third-order impact, particularly on the capital markets and the bond markets, and we’ve got to stay close to that.”

Quinn said HSBC, one of the biggest international banks in China, had yet to see any direct impact from the escalating problems at Evergrande after the cash-strapped property developer missed loan interest payments earlier this week.

The banking boss pointed to HSBC’s provisions for distressed loans within commercial real estate in the first six months of the year. “You wouldn’t have seen anything in that, that indicated we were concerned about our CRE exposure in China,” he said. 

04:18 PM

FTSE 100 closes higher

The FTSE 100 pushed higher to record its best day in two months, extending gains to break through the key 7,000 points mark.

The blue-chip index rose 1.5pc, with banks leading gains as default fears around property giant Evergrande eased.

Entain jumped 5.1pc to an all-time high after the gambling firm revealed a £16.5bn takeover proposal from Boston-based DraftKings, which was nearly double a bid it rejected from MGM this year.

Miners AntofagastaGlencore and Anglo American also jumped thanks to higher commodity prices.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “A series of temporary fixes to ominous global problems has pushed the FTSE 100 back over the psychologically important 7,000 mark, but there’s a chance the nuts and bolts may weaken again, and the wheels could fall off the recovery.”

04:05 PM

Airport rescued by Nicola Sturgeon set to become satellite spaceport

Prestwick airport is set to become a spaceport after striking a deal for “horitzontal” satellite launches, reports my colleague Matthew Field.

The loss-making airport, nationalised by Nicola Sturgeon in a rescue deal in 2013, has signed a memorandum of understanding with British rocket company Astraius. 

The deal puts the Scottish airport, which was bought by Transport Scotland for just £1, back on the map in Britain’s space race. 

Virgin Orbit, Sir Richard Branson’s company that launches rockets from the wings of Boeing 747s, is hoping to conduct rocket launches from the UK early next year.

 

Astraius uses former military cargo planes such as the C-17 to fly rockets to high altitude before ejecting them and sending them blasting into low-earth orbit.

Read more about this story here.

03:58 PM

US to donate 500m more vaccine doses

© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg President Joe Biden US Covid-19 vaccine – Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The US has  promised to buy 500m more Covid-19 vaccine doses to donate to other countries as it comes under increasing pressure to share its supply with the rest of the world.

The White House is hosting a four-hour virtual summit aimed at boosting global vaccination rates and the administration of President Joe Biden wants to show it is leading by example.

“To beat the pandemic here we need to beat it everywhere,” Biden said, kicking off the summit, which includes leaders from Canada, Indonesia, South Africa and Britain, as well as World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“This is an all hands on deck crisis,” he added.

03:50 PM

Expert reaction: Tonight’s Fed meeting

Robert Alster, chief investment officer at Close Brothers Asset Management, comments on why he believes the Fed is unlikely to announce any bold decisions around interest rates this evening.  

He says:

The US recovery is on ice. The Delta variant is spreading through the country at an alarming rate, the debt ceiling debate is creating significant anxiety, and the job market is seeing a wave of unfilled vacancies – in short, it’s a perfect storm. Biden’s ambitions for a swift and sharp bounce back for the economy have been dashed, and he will be relying on the Fed to help establish a growth pathway.  

Not three months ago, Powell was set to come out of this policy meeting with tangible tugs on the monetary levers. But the current economic climate will have provided plenty of food for thought, and the Fed is now likely to delay any big decisions for at least a couple of months.

More interesting is the future gazing – the guidance on bond purchasing and future rate rises will reveal the Fed’s confidence in the economy’s ability to recover in the longer term, including a judgement on whether the labour market conundrum is a flash in the pan or the beginning of a real jobs crisis.

03:37 PM

Ofgem: UK energy market ‘secure and resilient’

Ofgem has insisted the UK has “one of the most secure and resilient energy markets in the world” as the regulator looks to calm fears about a looming crisis.

In a tweet this afternoon it wrote: “When energy companies exit the market, we have robust processes ensuring energy supplies continue.”

It came after two more energy suppliers went out of business, taking the total number of homes impacted by supplier failures to around 1.5m.

When energy companies exit the market, we have robust processes ensuring energy supplies continue. We have one of the most secure and resilient energy markets in the world.

Our website has all the info you need if your provider goes out of business 👇https://t.co/W9zWnOaIbT

— ofgem (@ofgem) September 22, 2021

03:32 PM

Sainsbury’s to expand home delivery service

Sainsbury’s is expanding its same-day home delivery service as the supermarket competes for market share in the crowded rapid food delivery market, writes Morgan Meaker.

The UK’s second largest grocer said today it is relaunching a service where customers who order groceries before midday can receive them the same evening, after 5pm. They can also choose to collect them in-store, after 4pm. 

Around 250 stores will be offering the same-day delivery service from this week. Around 100 more stores will participate by the end of October. 

The supermarket chain will also expand its Chop Chop service to 25 more supermarkets, meaning the 60 minute delivery app can now be used in 75 stores.

In the rapid delivery market, Sainsbury’s has to compete not only with its supermarket rivals – such as Morrisons which offers same day deliveries via Deliveroo – but also with a series of rapid food delivery startups including Getir, Gorillas and Weezy. 

Read more on this story here: 

Matthew Lynn: The food delivery market is a bike crash waiting to happen 

03:25 PM

Mini Moke comes back to Britain

© JAY WILLIAMS Mini Moke UK –  JAY WILLIAMS

Sixties icon the Moke – a cheap, fun car favoured by stars of the day including Brigitte Bardot and the Beatles – is coming home with production moving entirely to the UK, writes Alan Tovey.

After a relaunch by Moke International last year, the car was engineered in Britain but construction took place in France.

An agreement with Northampton-based engineering firm Fablink means all the production is being brought back to the UK, keeping the Moke true to its British heritage.

Isobel Dando, chief executive of Moke, said: “Since reviving the marque we have recaptivated existing enthusiasts and introduced an entirely new generation to Moke’s perfect combination of fun, utility and open-air thrills.

“This has been reflected in significant demand from our home market, affirming our plans to light up beach resorts around the world through the global market introduction of the ultimate waterfront-to-beach house vehicle.”

The relaunched Moke has been reworked slightly from the original design based on the Mini, resulting in a vehicle that is slightly larger than the original with more more passenger space.

Read more on this story here.

03:16 PM

BT: Cellnex acquisition spree threatens UK mobile market

© Jason Alden/Bloomberg Cellnex BT mobile mast – Jason Alden/Bloomberg

BT is raising the alarm over an industry-wide sell-off of mobile masts, saying it could hand too much power to aggressive Spanish tower buyer Cellnex.

Bloomberg has the details:

BT’s intervention marks one of the first public signs of real concern at the growing power of Cellnex, a behemoth with a market value of €39bn euros that’s been buying up tens of thousands of masts from carriers that, until now, have been only too willing to cash in on their infrastructure. 

British competition authorities are investigating Cellnex’s latest blockbuster deal, the €10bn acquisition of European towers from CK Hutchison. The sale has been cleared in other European markets. 

The deal would “remove any realistic scope for Cellnex’s smaller competitors to achieve critical scale in the short to medium term” and “inevitably lead to higher prices” and worse service, BT said in a submission to the Competition and Markets Authority published Wednesday. 

Cellnex is set to inherit CK Hutchison’s income from 7,500 sites that sit in a joint venture run by Hutchison and BT, according to a previous statement from the CMA. Its purchase of about 7,400 sites from U.K. operator Arqiva in 2020 was cleared, and BT itself sold Cellnex rights to 220 sites in 2019.

However, BT said the latest deal would curb its ability to roll out 5G wireless services through the joint venture, called MBNL. MBNL exists under a rolling contract which is set to continue until at least 2031. 

02:57 PM

Oil rises in response to gas crisis

© ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images Oil prices Brent crude energy crisis – ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The price of oil is rising as traders bet that surging natural gas prices in Europe will drive oil demand in an already tight market.

Brent crude is hovering near monthly highs of $75.87, up 1.4pc today.

Goldman Sachs has warned that a cold winter could overwhelm the oil market’s capacity to compensate for missing gas supplies, resulting in a price spike which could reverberate through the economy.

WTI has also lifted 1.3pc after a US government report showed domestic crude inventories slid to their lowest level since October 2018.

02:46 PM

Energy crisis: Total homes hit reaches 1.5m

Around 1.5m UK households have been hit by energy supplier collapses in the past two months, according to a Telegraph tally.

The biggest suppliers to go bust so far are Avro energy with 580,000 customers and People’s Energy with 350,000.

02:37 PM

More expert reaction: Likely more suppliers will follow

Justina Miltienyte, energy policy expert at Uswitch.com, said: 

This is a double blow for the energy industry and will cause further worry for consumers.  

Avro and Green’s simultaneous exits from the market come after People’s Energy and Utility Point ceased trading last week. Nine energy suppliers have been forced out this year so far and it’s likely that more may follow.

Soaring wholesale prices are making conditions difficult for all suppliers, but challenger brands in particular are struggling to make ends meet. 

Affected customers will be moved onto new suppliers appointed by Ofgem, but for now they should sit tight and wait until their account is transferred to the new provider before trying to switch. 

Customers can be reassured that their energy supply will continue as normal and any credit balances they have built up will be protected. 

We recommend that Avro and Green customers make a note of their meter readings now, and again when contacted by their new supplier, to ensure bills are accurate.

Once the new supplier is appointed, they will be in touch to provide more information.

02:34 PM

Expert reaction: UK should reconsider approach to gas procurement

David Knipe, partner, energy and natural resources at Oliver Wyman says:

The surge in prices should give us pause to consider the UK’s overall approach to gas procurement. Gas is a key energy source for the UK; it not only heats the majority of our homes but also is a major source for the electricity we consume.

As a country we choose to effectively buy our gas largely at spot prices, which has benefited us over many years as spot gas prices have been relatively cheap. However, when worldwide gas shortages occur, we are exposed to the resulting price spike.

Japan takes an alternative approach, choosing to buy much of their gas on long-term oil linked contacts with price caps to limit the upside, but also compensating price floors to protect the producers. As a consequence, their consumers are seeing very little impact from the worldwide price spike. However, the quid pro quo of this is that they did not benefit from the periods of cheap gas. There are certainly opportunities and drawbacks to each approach.

This is ultimately a reminder of how reliant the UK is on gas as a flexible energy source and for home heating in particular. The planned transition to shift home heating to heat pumps would reduce reliance on Russian and other gas importation but will also make the UK more vulnerable to managing seasonal and shorter-term intermittency, assuming a significant shift to renewable power.

02:15 PM

Yet another energy supplier goes bust

There’s more bad news for the energy sector as yet another supplier has ceased trading.

Avro Energy, which has 580,000 customers, announced it has gone bust, adding that regulator Ofgem will appoint a new supplier for its customers.

A statement on its website reads: “Customers need not worry, their supplies are secure and domestic credit balances are protected.

“Ofgem’s advice is not to switch, but to wait until they appoint a new supplier for you. This will help make sure that the process of handing customers over to a new supplier, and honouring domestic customers’ credit balances, is as hassle free as possible for customers.”

02:11 PM

Derby Football Club collapses into administration

© Alex Morton/Getty Images Derby County administration  – Alex Morton/Getty Images

Derby County Football Club has also collapsed into administration today, after struggling to find investors able to help repair its finances after the pandemic.

Andrew Hosking, managing director of business advisory firm Quantuma and joint administrator, said: “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the finances of the club and its long-term ability to continue in its current form.

“Our immediate objectives are to ensure the club completes all its fixtures in the Championship this season and finding interested parties to safeguard the club and its employees.”

The club, whose current manager is Wayne Rooney, has been docked 12 points by the English Football League for appointing administrators.

02:00 PM

Energy crisis latest

Here’s an updated list on all the energy suppliers that have collapsed since August. 

1. Avro Energy

The Leicestershire-based firm – which was voted the Uswitch’s best-value-for-money energy provider in 2019 – has become the seventh energy supplier to crumble since August, leaving behind 580,000 customers.

2. Green Supplier

The Newcastle-based company, which supplies 250,000 homes, has become the latest supplier to collapse on Wednesday. Earlier this week the company said: “Green fears that smaller energy suppliers are being left behind by the government”.  

3. Utility Point

 The Dorset-based company ceased trading on September 14, blaming a “perfect storm” of factors which included “extreme weather conditions leading to a global gas supply shortage, inability to provide timely and necessary generator maintenance causing multiple sites to be taken offline simultaneously, lower exports from Russia and rising demand.” 

4. People’s Energy

 Edinburgh’s People’s Energy folded last week, with Ofgem appointing British Gas to take on its 350,000 customers. 

5. PfP Energy

Lancashire’s PFP collapsed on September 7, affecting 80,000 domestic and 5,000 overseas customers. 

6. MoneyPlus Energy

Around 9,000 UK customers were impacted by the collapse of MoneyPlus in early September. 

7. HUB Energy

Preston-based HUB collapsed in August, with its 15,000 UK customers transferred to EON Next by Ofgem.

01:44 PM

Wall Street opens higher

US stocks pushed higher at the opening bell as investors shifted their attention away from Evergrande and towards today’s Federal Reserve meeting.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 both rose 0.3pc as markets opened, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 0.4pc.

01:40 PM

Roald Dahl’s family set for £500m Netflix payday

The family of Roald Dahl is in line for a windfall of more than £500m from the sale of his works to Netflix, Sky News reports.

The streaming giant today announced it has acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company, which manages the rights to the author’s characters, and is plotting new versions of his popular children’s stories.

Exclusive: The family of Roald Dahl, arguably the world’s most famous children’s author, has landed a windfall of more than £500m from the sale of his works to Netflix. Raine, the merchant bank, advised the Roald Dahl Story Company on the deal. Full story will be up soon.

— Mark Kleinman (@MarkKleinmanSky) September 22, 2021

Read more about this story here

01:27 PM

Vauxhall job cuts: Car maker hit by chip shortage

Some more details on the Vauxhall job cuts from my colleague Alan Tovey.

Vauxhall’s Luton plant has the capacity to produce about 100,000 vans annually and was approaching maximum output because of the surge in demand for delivery vehicles as more people work from home as a consequence of the pandemic.

Demand was so great that staff from Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port car plant which produced the low-selling Astra were seconded to help ramp up output.

However, the global car industry has been hit by shortage of computer chips which have forced manufacturers to halt factories at short notice.

The lack of semi-conductors has been caused by vehicle manufacturers slashing orders for the parts as the pandemic peaked and they were forced to shut factories.

But as demand bounced they have since found themselves at the back of the queue, while other sectors such as consumer electronics maintained or even increased demand.

Supply problems were exacerbated by a fire at Japanese automotive chipmaker Renesas, and storms in the US that hit semiconductor manufacturers there.

01:17 PM

Vauxhall to slash jobs at Luton factory

© Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg Vauxhall Luton factory – Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Vauxhall is planning to axe almost a third of the workforce at its Luton factory because of the global shortage of computer chips  despite demand for the vans it builds at record levels, reports Alan Tovey.

The plant, which builds the Vauxhall/Opel Vivaro, Citroen Jumpy/Dispatch and Peugeot Expert vans, added extra workers as recently as July as it geared up to meet demand.

Moving to a three-shift system took the plant to about 1,500 staff

However, management at the Stellantis-owned business notified unions this week that they are starting the legally required 45-day consultancy period if a company plans to make 100 or more redundancies.

According to union Unite, bosses said that changing the shift pattern back to two shifts would mean up to 417 positions going.

Job losses are understood to be limited to staff on flexible and 23-month short-term contracts, with full-time workers unaffected.

01:12 PM

FTSE 100 up 1.4pc

Time to check in on the FTSE 100, which has continued its rebound from Monday’s sell-off.

The blue-chip index is up 1.4pc at 7,979 points, led by gains for miners and gambling stocks.

Entain is the biggest riser today after confirming a takeover proposal from Boston-based DraftKings. The stock rose more than 10pc to an all-time high earlier in the day before paring gains to trade up 6.9pc.

Miners Antofagasta and Anglo American both rose around 5pc, while Glencore and Rio Tinto were also among the top gainers thanks to higher commodity prices.

12:59 PM

Expert reaction: Darktrace boss welcomes UK National AI strategy

Poppy Gustafsson, chief executive of Darktrace, responds to the announcement of the UK’s National AI Strategy, which is designed to boost business use of AI, attract international investment and develop the next generation of tech talent.

As a fundamental technology company working at the forefront of cutting-edge AI development, Darktrace welcomes the commitments set out today which will help to cement the UK’s role as a global AI superpower.

Maintaining our strong position in science and innovation – to which AI is now absolutely critical – is crucial for the economic health of the country.

In particular, we support the focus on commercialising and protecting the UK’s ideas and expertise, as well as the push to support the development of skills in AI and tech.

While the UK has outstanding research hubs and resources, it is paramount that we can develop our strongest ideas into successful products and businesses if we are to remain competitive.

Plugging the tech skills gap is one of the biggest issues we must solve as a nation, and there is a great opportunity for young people in the UK to become the next generation of leaders in AI.

🇬🇧 New ten-year plan to make the UK a global AI superpower!

✨ The UK today launches its #NationalAIStrategy to help seize the potential of AI technologies to improve people’s lives and solve global challenges such as climate change and public health.https://t.co/UUhsesC62Z pic.twitter.com/wmuJUPGQ5d

— Office for Artificial Intelligence (@OfficeforAI) September 22, 2021

12:46 PM

Former UK financial regulator to chair EU securities watchdog 

Former UK financial regulator Verena Ross has been chosen to chair the European Union’s securities watchdog ESMA.

Ross, a German national, previously worked for Britain’s financial watchdog before stepping down as executive director of the European Securities and Markets Authority earlier this year.

She was competing for the top job with Carmine Di Noia, commissioner at the Italian securities watchdog CONSOB, who had topped the shortlist of candidates sent by the ESMA to EU states last November.

The appointment needs the approval of the European Parliament, which has long pushed for more women to head the bloc’s regulatory bodies.

12:37 PM

US to lift British lamb ban  

The US is lifting its ban on imports of British lamb, the BBC is reporting. 

The lifting of the ban means that British farmers can export to the US for “the first time in decades”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the broadcaster. 

12:33 PM

Stop using Chinese smartphones over hidden censorship software, consumers warned 

Consumers have been urged to stop using Chinese smartphones made by a Chinese company after their built-in censorship capabilities were revealed, reports Matthew Field

He writes: 

Lithuania’s defence ministry warned the public not to buy Xiaomi devices after finding they had the ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement”.

Its report said that although the capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone had been switched off for the European market, it could be activated remotely at any time.

Lithuania’s deputy defence minister, Margiris Abukevicius, said: “Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible.” 

Read the full story here. 

12:21 PM

Igloo energy considers insolvency 

Igloo Energy is the latest energy supplier to consider insolvency, according to reports, as the sector is hammered by soaring wholesale gas prices.

Sky is reporting that Igloo is in talks with Alvarez & Marsal, a professional services firm, about a potential insolvency process,   

If the five-year-old company does collapse, it would be the sixth energy supplier to go bust since August. 

“The state of the wholesale energy market is the worst we have ever seen it, with soaring prices impacting all suppliers,” Igloo told its customers on its website.  

“We would like to reassure you that no matter what happens, your energy supply and any credit balance you have, is completely safe. ” 

12:03 PM

Iraq expects oil demand to rise 

© HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI /AFP An Iraqi oil worker speaks on a radio transciever at an oil refinery in the southern town Nasiriyah – HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI /AFP 

 Iraq says it expects oil demand will rise as the supply crunch in natural-gas markets forces consumers to look for alternative fuels, echoing comments by fellow OPEC member Nigeria.

“If there is agreement within OPEC, we will be ready,” Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told Bloomberg. 

Gas prices have surged this month in Europe and Asia to the equivalent of around $155 per barrel of oil, as shortages of coal and wind power boost demand. Brent crude traded above $75 on Wednesday.

The head of Nigeria’s state oil company said oil could climb another $10 due to the gas shortages.

Iraq pumped just over 4m barrels a day last month.

It can raise that figure to 5m, Jabbar said, once OPEC+ ends the supply restrictions, which it’s scheduled to do in the second half of 2022.

More on this story here: Record gas prices risk resurgence of dirty power 

11:55 AM

LSE abandons derivatives exchange

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is to shut its loss making derivatives exchange just five years after the venture was launched, reports Simon Foy

CurveGlobal, which opened in 2016 with the backing of seven of the world’s biggest banks and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, will cease trading at the end of January next year, LSEG said. 

It comes after the project failed to win enough business to challenge rival exchanges in the US and Europe and as bosses pivot LSEG to focus on financial data following its $27bn (£19bn) acquisition of Refinitiv. 

The exchange has suspended several products with immediate effect, including long-dated UK gilts and German bund futures because they had no open positions. 

A spokesman for LSEG said the decision came following a “strategic review” of the venture and trading will cease in all CurveGlobal products at 18:00 on 28 January 2022. 

11:41 AM

US futures rise ahead of Fed meeting 

US futures rose this morning as concerns about China’s Evergrande eased ahead of today’s Federal Reserve rates decision.

Futures tracking the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 pushed higher, following on from gains for both the pan-European Stoxx 600 and the FTSE 100.

China avoided a major selloff after trading resumed following a holiday after the country’s central bank boosted its injection of short-term cash into the financial system.

Investors will be turning their attention to the Fed for a potential timeline for tapering stimulus measures and any shifts in expectations for interest rate increases.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA, said:

Although I expect the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] to not give too much away on the tapering front – the best we can expect I believe is a signal that they will make a firm decision on whether to start at the November meeting – we could in for a surprise on the latest dot plot.

The dot plot, which charts FOMC members’ timelines for rate hikes or cuts, could see more members moving hiking expectations into 2022.

11:30 AM

Kwarteng: More on windfall taxes

Asked again about windfall taxes, Kwarteng briefly answers:

“I’m not a fan of windfall taxes, let me get that straight but of course it’s an entire system and we have to think about how we can get the energy system as a whole to help itself.”

11:07 AM

Kwarteng repeats: Price cap to stay 

© PA/House of Commons Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng giving evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in the House of Commons  – PA/House of Commons 

“The price cap is here to stay, we’re not moving it and [companies] have to work within that context,” says Kwarteng.  

“What really surprises me is I know companies that went into the market when they knew about the price cap and now they are complaining about the price cap. So it’s a very odd situation if you’re starting a business – to go in with your eyes open and then complain about a key feature which was there when you entered the market.”  

10:56 AM

Kwarteng on Russia gas dependence 

“I need to stress one thing. We are not as exposed to Russian gas supply as many of our EU counterparts,” Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs. 

“A lot of our energy supply – most of it – is outside Russia”. 

When asked what is Britain doing to ensure it is resilient to actions Russia might take, Kwarteng said: 

“The way to be resilient – regardless of what Russia does – is to have a diversity of supply, to make sure we can accelerate carbon capture, to make sure we can really drive the hydrogen economy… and to pursue the strategy we are doing with regard to renewables.

“Diversity of supply will protect us from any shocks to the system which may deliberately be orchestrated by Mr Putin’s regime”. 

Read more on this here:

  • Russia told to pump more gas to European market as winter supply crunch looms 
  • Ambrose Evans Pritchard: China and Russia will determine Britain’s winter fate 
  • Russia accused of rigging gas prices to undermine Britain’s economic recovery 

10:47 AM

Energy windfall tax not ruled out by Kwarteng 

The Business Secretary has not ruled out a windfall tax on generators and traders that are making money from surging wholesale gas prices, similar to a system introduced in Spain. 

 “We are looking at all options,” Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs today. 

“I think what they’re doing in Spain is recognising the energy system is an entire system. I’m in discussion with OFGEM and other officials, looking at all options.”    

10:38 AM

Which energy firms have gone bust? 

The boss of Britain’s energy regulator Ofcom said he was expecting more energy companies to collapse, as the sector continues to suffer from soaring wholesale gas prices. 

But which companies have already gone bust as a result of the energy crisis? Here’s a list: 

  1. Utility Point: The Dorset based company ceased trading on September 14, blaming a “perfect storm” of factors which included “extreme weather conditions leading to a global gas supply shortage, inability to provide timely and necessary generator maintenance causing multiple sites to be taken offline simultaneously, lower exports from Russia and rising demand.” Find their announcement here.
  2. People’s Energy: Edinburgh’s People’s Energy folded last week, with Ofgem appointing British Gas to take on its 350,000 customers.
  3. PfP Energy: Lancashire’s PFP collapsed on September 7, affecting 80,000 domestic and 5,000 overseas customers.
  4. MoneyPlus Energy: Around 9,000 UK customers were impacted by the collapse of MoneyPlus in early September. 
  5. HUB Energy : Preston-based HUB collapsed in August, with its 15,000 UK customers transferred to EON Next by Ofgem. 

10:22 AM

Iron ore jumps above $100

Iron ore prices have surged above $100 as investor concerns over debt-ridden Chinese property developer Evergrande eased.

The commodity has been on a rollercoaster ride this year, with prices dropping to their lowest level in 16 months earlier this week amid concerns about China’s steel sector.

But prices climbed as much as 13.4pc to above $100 per tonne after Evergrande said it had reached an agreement with yuan bondholders on interest payment and China’s central bank pumped money into the country’s financial system.

However, analysts warned of continued headwinds for iron ore prices due to China’s curbs on steel output and a crackdown on its property sector.

10:09 AM

Ofgem boss tells MPs more energy suppliers expected to collapse

Jonathan Brearley, head of Ofgem, says he’s never seen anything like the current rise in wholesale gas prices

Gas prices are almost six times higher than they were last year

‘We’ve already seen hundreds of thousands of customers affected. It may well go above that’

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) September 22, 2021

Head of Ofgem also casts doubt on Kwasi Kwarteng’s claim that this is about poor management at failing companies

Jonathan Brearley: ‘There is a question about some companies and the risk management behind them. But all companies are feeling the strain’

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) September 22, 2021

This was the moment Ofgem’s lights cut out while CEO Jonathan Brearley was trying to reassure MPs that there will not be blackouts this winter. pic.twitter.com/mAR061HyAa

— LBC News (@LBCNews) September 22, 2021

10:06 AM

Home office delays Mike Lynch extradition decision

The Home Office has delayed its decision on whether to extradite Mike Lynch, the alleged architect of Britain’s biggest corporate fraud, to the US. 

Wednesday was the initial deadline for the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to confirm or cancel Mr Lynch’s extradition. However the Home Office confirmed today that the decision has been pushed back by seven days. 

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Extensions for making a decision on any given case can be made under the Extradition Act 2003. The Home Secretary is giving full consideration to the relevant issues raised in this case.” 

A judge ruled in July that it was “in the interests of justice” to extradite the Autonomy founder, who is wanted on charges of fraud over the sale of a software company, to the US.

The 56-year-old denies all charges.

09:55 AM

Money round-up

Here’s the daily round-up from The Telegraph’s Money team: 

  • ‘We fled autocratic Hong Kong for freedom in Surrey’: The new British National Overseas visa scheme has brought a wave of relocating families
  • Of course the big energy firms want to dismantle the price cap – it’s just proving its worth: Inflation is soaring, furlough is ending and Universal Credit is being cut, the Government can’t ditch the energy price cap now
  • How to invest your way onto the property ladder: Young savers are turning to the stock market to keep the property dream alive

09:51 AM

CO2 deal ‘won’t save Christmas’, says Iceland 

The managing director of supermarket Iceland has said the government’s three-week agreement with CO2 producer CF Industries is not a long term solution to the problems the industry is facing.

Richard Walker said:  “A three week deal won’t save Christmas, and certainly won’t resolve the issue in the long term”.

Production is to restart at two of the UK’s most important carbon dioxide suppliers after ministers agreed to offer a multi-million pound taxpayer subsidy, staving off the threat of widespread food shortages and propping up critical nuclear supply chains.

CF Industries is being handed temporary financial support to get operations underway again at the two fertiliser sites in Ince and Billingham, which are responsible for around 60pc of Britain’s carbon dioxide as a by-product and were closed after rocketing wholesale gas prices made then uneconomic.

Read more about this story here. 

A three week deal won’t save Christmas, and certainly won’t resolve the issue in the long term – we need a permanent solution to keep the wheels turning for fresh food supplies. https://t.co/ZgA9jzXtpv

— Richard Walker (@icelandrichard) September 22, 2021

09:36 AM

Oil prices rise on supply squeeze

Oil prices are making gains today after a US industry report showed another big reduction in stockpiles.

West Texas Intermediate rose as much as 1.9pc to trade above $71 a barrel.

Nationwide stockpiles sank by more than 6m barrels, including a drop at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, according to the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute.

Oil prices have risen this month after extreme weather disrupted US supplies and surging gas prices raised expectations of higher demand.

The decision by China’s central bank to inject more cash into the financial system to calm worries about Evergrande, as well as the upcoming Federal Reserve interest rate decision, will also set the tone for oil prices.

09:23 AM

Sterling drops to one-month low

Sterling has fallen to a one-month low as investors pushed back expectations of an interest rate hike by the Bank of England this week.

The pound slipped 0.1pc to $1.3636 in early trading, with analysts warning of more losses.

Focus was largely centred around central bank meetings, as investors went from expecting a hawkish outlook from the Bank of England to consensus that an interest rate hike was probably at least six months away.

While money markets expect at least two rate hikes by the end of 2022, some analysts say those expectations may be optimistic.

Lee Hardman, currency analyst at MUFG, told Reuters: “Given what the market has been pricing over the last couple of weeks, that could lead to some kind of disappointment and a softer pound.”

09:20 AM

More on CO2 price rises 

© Owen Humphreys /PA CF Fertilisers plant in Billingham, Cleveland – Owen Humphreys /PA 

In response to the environment secretary’s warning that the price of CO2 could increase 500pc, some food and drink producers are exploring ways to make their supply more sustainable. 

Keith McAvoy, boss of Salford’s Seven Bro7hers Brewing, which uses CO2 in its beers, said:

We have a two-to-four-week supply of CO2 so last night’s bail out deal with the government couldn’t have come any sooner. As little as a three [day] delay in CO2 supply could have a major impact on our business. That said, it is likely our CO2 costs will increase because of the government investment which will have direct impact on our margin.

The decision has accelerated our plans to carbon capture our own CO2 to make ourselves more independent and self-reliant in times like this. In the brewing process one of the biproducts of the fermenting is the release of CO2. We are exploring different ways to capture this and add it to our reserve. Our goal is to become a carbon negative business.”

09:14 AM

Netflix inks deal for Roald Dahl catalogue

© Ronald Dumont /Hulton Archive British novelist Roald Dahl (1916 – 1990) – Ronald Dumont /Hulton Archive 

Netflix has inked a deal to buy the catalogue of author Roald Dahl, securing the rights to works including ‘Matilda’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ that have sold more than 200m copies worldwide.

The streaming giant plans to use Dahl’s characters and stories for animated and live-action films and TV series, as well as publishing projects, games, theatre shows and consumer products.

Netflix already had a three-year-old agreement with the Roald Dahl Story Company to make animated shows based on his material, reported to be worth between $500m and $1bn.

According to IMDb, two Dahl film projects are currently in the works.

Netflix is making “Matilda”, about the precocious British youngster, and Warner Bros. is filming “Wonka”, a story focused on the young Willy Wonka.

09:05 AM

Glasgow airport to launch space rockets from military planes

A proposed spaceport near Glasgow will offer rocket launches from the cargo bay of military transport planes in a bid to take advantage of newly relaxed UK space regulations and compete with Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit.

Prestwick Airport, which is developing a space facility, said today it signed an outline deal with Astraius – a UK startup that aims to parachute rockets from the back of a Boeing C-17 Globemaster plane before their motors ignite and they carry satellites to low-earth orbit.

The Prestwick plan is backed by £80m in local and national funding and aims to tap a local small-satellite manufacturing sector that ranks behind only California, according to the airport’s statement.

Spaceport sites are planned across the UK after regulations permitting space flights and satellite launches came into force in July.

Announcement shortly on plans for our UK 🇬🇧 base and new Spaceport for C-17 horizontal satellite launches @spacegovuk #HorizontalLaunch #BeyondLaunch pic.twitter.com/u1PouS7lE1

— AstraiusLaunch (@AstraiusL) September 21, 2021

08:57 AM

Paddy Power owner pays $300m to settle US lawsuit

Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment has agreed to pay $300m to settle a long-running lawsuit with the US state of Kentucky.

The dispute relates to an original award of damages made in 2015 against The Stars Group, which Flutter bought for $6bn in 2019.

The litigation had sought recovery of alleged losses by PokerStars players in Kentucky from 2006 and 2011.

Flutter today said it had agreed to pay $200m to Kentucky in addition to the $100m previously forfeited.

In return, Kentucky has agreed to drop its pursuit of the gambling firm.

Shares in Flutter rose as much as 6pc this morning, before settling up around 4.5pc.

08:47 AM

Food producers should prepare for 500pc rise in C02 prices, says Eustice

Food producers in the UK should prepare for a 500pc rise in carbon dioxide prices as a result of the on-going energy crisis, the Environment Secretary said today.

Natural gas prices have spiked this year, forcing some fertiliser plants – which make carbon dioxide as a by-product – to shut in recent weeks, leading to a shortage of the gas used to put the fizz into fizzy drinks and stun livestock before slaughter.

As CO2 stocks dwindled, Britain struck a deal with American company CF Industries to restart production at two plants which were shut because they had become unprofitable.

“We need the market to adjust, the food industry knows there’s going to be a sharp rise in the cost of carbon dioxide,” Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky News.

It would have to accept that the price of CO2 would rise sharply, to around £1,000 a ton from £200 a ton, Eustice said, adding: “So a big, sharp rise.”

The three-week support for CF, which supplies around 60pc of Britain’s CO2 supplies, would cost “many millions, possibly tens of millions but it’s to underpin some of those fixed costs,” Eustice said.

COMMODITY INFLATION: UK government flags massive jump in industrial CO2 prices.

“The food industry knows that there’s going to be a sharp rise in the cost of CO2 […] from £200 a ton, eventually closer to £1,000,” Environment Secretary George Eustice said pic.twitter.com/B36nO1KQ21

— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) September 22, 2021

08:34 AM

Entain jumps to all-time high 

Shares of Entain jumped as much as 10pc to an all-time high this morning and are currently trading at £24.07.

The betting group was the top FTSE 100 gainer after the gambling firm revealed a takeover proposal from Boston-based DraftKings, which was nearly double a bid it rejected from MGM this year.

08:29 AM

Energy supplier Green prepares for insolvency

Energy supplier Green is lining up advisers to oversee its potential insolvency, according to Sky News.

Sky is reporting that Green – which has around 250,000 customers – could go into administration within days, as small energy companies come under intense pressure from soaring wholesale gas prices. 

Although the government has suggested it was considering offering loans to incentivise surviving companies to take on failed firms’ customers, it has ruled out subsidies for suppliers facing collapse. 

08:20 AM

World’s biggest record company faces competition scrutiny  

© Lester Cohen /Getty Images North America Beck (L) with CEO of the Universal Music Group Sir Lucian Grainge  – Lester Cohen /Getty Images North America 

Universal Music has been threatened with an official investigation of its stranglehold on pop hours after it made a triumphant stock market debut in Amsterdam that is expected to deliver a cash bonus of more than $260m to its British boss, reports Ben Woods. 

He writes: 

Ministers said the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) should consider launching a market study of the music industry, the first step towards potential regulatory action.

The pressure on the watchdog’s chief executive, Andrea Coscelli, comes after an inquiry by the Media select committee. 

It heard complaints from songwriters and musicians that while the Spotify era has restored the fortunes of major record labels such as Universal, they are unable to live off the fractions of a penny they receive from each play on streaming services.

Read the full story here.

08:12 AM

Cruise and tour demand bouncing back, says Saga

© Heathcliff O’Malley /Telegraph Saga cruise ship, the Spirit of Discovery, sailing into the port of Dover  – Heathcliff O’Malley /Telegraph

Over-50s group Saga said cruise and tour demand is returning, with 2022 bookings now ahead of pre-pandemic levels. 

However half-year results showed the business’ underlying pre-tax losses widened to £51.2m for the six months to July 31, against losses of £34.2m a year earlier.

Underlying losses in the cruise arm more than doubled to £35.4m from £15.4m a year earlier. By contrast, losses at the tour operations business narrowed to £15.8m from £18.8m.

Saga restarted cruises around the UK in June, with international sailing getting underway from the end of August.

In January, it became the first tour operator to insist that all its customers were fully vaccinated.

08:03 AM

Soap demand still above pre-pandemic levels, says Carex maker

The demand for soap is still above pre-pandemic levels, said owner of soap brand Carex, which reported revenue in the three months to August was up 13pc compared to two years ago. 

However compared to 2020 – the height of the pandemic – revenue for Carex maker PZ Cussons in the period was down by 9pc. 

“The medium-term outlook remains in line with our expectations and we have confidence that our brand and market portfolio will emerge strongly once we cycle through the unprecedented demand for hygiene products at the start of the pandemic,” said PZ Cussonschief executive Jonathan Myers.

In the financial year ending in May, pre-tax profit grew 245pc to £63.2m on revenues of £603.3m.

07:53 AM

Expert reaction: Entain takeover talks

Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, comments on the latest developments:

US sports betting company DraftKings has added its name to a growing list of American businesses intent on gobbling up UK firms. Ladbrokes and Coral owner Entain finds itself once again the target for acquisition, with this latest offer, after partner MGM’s bid was rebuffed back in January.

The details of the offer became more clear this morning—DraftKings is prepared to offer £28 per share, a 46.2pc premium to the groups 20 Sept share price. While Entain confirmed it would mull the proposal over, there’s no guarantee that a deal will go ahead. Even if the offer is accepted, the usual regulatory scrutiny could be further complicated by antitrust concerns due to BetMGM, Entain’s joint venture with US Casino operator MGM.

We suspect that BetMGM is a big part of the reason DraftKings is interested at all, which may mean it will look to offload other parts of the business like the Ladbrokes and Coral physical betting shops down the line, as Caesars Entertainment has done with William Hill’s shops. But MGM will have a hand in negotiating the terms of the deal, which could ultimately put DraftKings off following through.

There’s also a chance DraftKing’s bold move could push MGM to make another offer for Entain, though we think this possibility is unlikely considering it would require MGM to substantially increase its former offer.

07:49 AM

FTSE risers and fallers

The FTSE 100 continued to rebound this morning, recovering its losses from Monday’s dramatic global sell off. 

Online gambling companies Entain (up 7.5pc) and Flutter (up 6.1pc) led gains, following the £16.5bn takeover approach Entain received from US rival DraftKings. 

Following its best session in two months yesterday, industrial metal miners were also among the top risers as copper prices surged after default fears around property giant China Evergrande eased.

On the domestically focused mid-cap index, Oxford Biomedica was the top riser following a £50m investment from Serum Institute of India.

Easing lockdowns and travel restrictions coupled with higher commodity prices have helped the FTSE 100 gain 1.3pc so far this week. Investors now await the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting later in the day and the Bank of England’s rate decision on Thursday.

07:38 AM

Biotech Oxford Biomedica receives £50m investment 

© Heathcliff O’Malley /Telegraph Prime Minister Boris Johnson visiting Oxford Biomedica to witness the manufacturing of the Covid-19 vaccine for AstraZeneca – Heathcliff O’Malley /Telegraph 

The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer is investing more than £50m in UK Covid-19 jab maker Oxford Biomedica, as the London-listed company continues to be buoyed by the vaccine rollout, reports Hannah Boland.

India’s Serum Institute is taking a 3.9pc stake in Oxford Biomedica. Both the Serum Institute and Oxford Biomedica have been making AstraZeneca vaccines during the pandemic.

The funds are expected to be used to develop more vaccine manufacturing space in the Oxford Biomedica’s production facilities.

Oxford Biomedica struck a partnership with AstraZeneca in May 2020 to make its vaccines using equipment provided by the UK’s Vaccine Manufacturing & Innovation Centre, a mega-vaccine factory which is being set up by the Government and which is due to come online within the coming months.

It later agreed an 18-month supply deal for the large-scale commercial manufacturing of the AstraZeneca jab, which saw AstraZeneca pay it £15m upfront. Oxford Biomedica had said at the time of the deal, in September, it was expecting to make more than £35m from the tie-up. 

The agreement to make the Covid jab is one which has buoyed Oxford Biomedica’s earnings, with the company separately on Wednesday posting interim results which showed revenue had more than doubled in the six months to the end of June, hitting £81m.

The business swung into the black for the period, recording operating profit of £19.7m compared to a £5.8m loss the same period a year earlier.

Shares in the company have spiked 8.3pc today, meaning that since the start of the pandemic, they have risen more than 215pc.

07:07 AM

FTSE 100 jumps 1pc

The FTSE 100 has jumped 1pc, back above 7,000 this morning. It is currently trading at 7,057.2 points. 

The FTSE  250 is also up 0.4pc at 23,708.6 points. 

07:06 AM

Staycations boosts bowling lane group to record summer

Leisure group Ten Entertainment, which runs bowling lanes across the UK, today credited its best-ever summer season to the pandemic’s “staycation” holiday trend. 

The company said sales surged 22.5pc in the first six weeks since reopening on May 17 and then leapt 42pc in the 11 weeks since June 27.

It hiked its annual outlook thanks to the better-than-expected rebound, which it said was “the most successful summer trading period in the group’s history”.

The update follows a difficult first half, where the company reported lockdown closures prompted underlying pre-tax losses to widen to £10.7m for the six months to June 27, against losses of £6.2m a year earlier.

Chief executive Graham Blackwell said: 

The short-term boost from UK staycations and the pent-up demand has not yet subsided, but we do expect it to over time.

Nonetheless, we expect that the solid underlying levels of demand will continue for the business and that we can return sustainably to our previous track record of growth.

06:58 AM

Evergrande agrees deal with domestic bondholders

© Lam Yik /Bloomberg The China Evergrande Centre in the Wan Chai area of Hong Kong, China – Lam Yik /Bloomberg

Embattled Chinese property titan Evergrande said today it had agreed a deal with domestic bondholders that should allow the conglomerate to avoid missing one of its interest payments and avoid default, but its deeper debt burden remains.

News agency AFP has the details: 

Financial markets have been hit this week over fears that the sprawling firm could collapse, with the potential to pulse through the world’s second-biggest economy and possibly beyond.

Chinese authorities have remained conspicuously silent over Evergrande’s woes, allowing rare protests from despairing investors and leaving analysts guessing over Beijing’s plans to mop-up any spillover from the developer’s demise.

In a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange, Evergrande’s property unit Hengda said it had negotiated a plan to pay interest due on its 2025 bond, worth 232m yuan (£26.3m).

Evergrande has admitted facing “tremendous pressure” as it tackles a debt pile of more than $300bn, and has warned that it may not be able to meet its liabilities.

Read more on the Evergrande crisis here:

06:52 AM

Cambridge start-up makes quantum computing breakthrough 

A British start-up has claimed a breakthrough in the development of quantum computers, creating a way for software to work across the next generation machines in a step towards making them more useful, reports James Titcomb. 

He writes:

A consortium led by Cambridge-based Riverlane has developed a system that allows one piece of code to operate on different types of quantum computers, seen as a step towards building an “operating system for quantum computing”.

Major technology companies and researchers are racing to develop quantum computers, which will be many times more powerful than today’s “classical” machines and can be used for climate, medical and advanced materials research.

While quantum computers operate on the same theory, the approaches differ wildly. Google has claimed “quantum supremacy”, a milestone in which quantum computers exceed existing ones at certain tasks, with a so-called “superconducting” system that requires extremely low temperatures. 

Read more on this story here. 

06:50 AM

Pret a Manger to open 200 more shops

© Nick Ansell /PA A man shopping in a Pret A Manger store in Melcombe Street in central London – Nick Ansell /PA

Cafe chain Pret a Manger said it will open more than 200 shops across Britain over the next two years, as the business bets on growth in suburban areas as more people work from home. 

Chief executive officer Pano Christou told the PA news agency:“We are keen to open more stores in regional and suburban areas, as these have been really strong recently.”

The company said its regional shops were now at their strongest ever levels while its London City sites had rebounded to 72pc of weekly pre-pandemic sales.

It revealed that it has been backed by a new £100m net investment by owner JAB Holdings and founder Sinclair Beecham, which will be used to help the group double in size within five years.

Meanwhile, new filings showed the company plunged to pre-tax operating loss of £256.5m and revenues fell by 58pc to £299m for 2020, after Covid-19 depressed footfall and forced shops to shut for months.

06:41 AM

More on the Entain takeover bid 

The bookmaker behind some of Britain’s best-known gambling brands said this morning it had received a takeover bid from US rival DraftKings worth £16.5bn. 

Entain, which had already confirmed the bid but did not disclose the price, said that it had also rejected a lower bid from DraftKings. 

“The Board of Entain confirms that following an earlier approach from DraftKings at 2,500 pence per share (the consideration of which comprised of a combination of DraftKings shares and cash) which was rejected, a further proposal was received on 19 September 2021,” the company said. 

“Under the terms of DraftKings’ latest proposal, DraftKings would offer 2,800 pence per Entain share consisting of 630 pence in cash and the balance payable in new DraftKings Class A common shares. ” 

Read more about this story here.

06:07 AM

FTSE forecast to open up 10 points

Good morning.

The FTSE is expected to open higher this morning ahead of the Fed’s interest rate decision, although the ongoing Chinese property market crisis is still cause for concern as Evergrande warns it is likely to default on its loan repayments this week.

The US Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) will also be giving its latest economic projections and the ‘dot plot’ of expected future rate hikes later today. 

“Investors will be looking to determine whether recent events around surging energy prices, and Evergrande, have altered the prevailing narrative, that until a week ago, had been very much that this meeting was a waypoint on the way to the September payrolls number, which is due on October 8th,” said Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.

“A decent number in October would more or less set in motion a timeline to the start of a tapering of asset purchases in either December or January.”

5 things to start your day 

1) Russia told to pump more gas to European market as winter supply crunch looms: The world’s leading energy authority has issued a rare public rebuke to Russia over a crunch in gas supplies as fears grow that Moscow is stoking a winter energy crisis across Europe.

Russia “could do more” to increase gas supplies to the Continent and show it is a “reliable supplier”, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

2) Americans place £16bn wager on Ladbrokes owner: The bookmaker behind some of Britain’s best-known gambling brands is in talks about a £16bn takeover by Draftkings, the loss-making US sports betting company. 

Entain, whose betting operations include Ladbrokes, Coral and Gala, confirmed it had received an approach from DraftKings which valued the FTSE 100 bookmaker at £28 a share or £16.4bn in total.

3) Universal Music boss set for £123m bonus as shares soar: Shares in Universal Music have surged by more than a third on its stock market debut, securing boss Sir Lucian Grainge one of the biggest payouts in corporate history. 

The world’s biggest record label behind Taylor Swift and Elton John has become one of Europe’s largest listings this year, as its market value reached €47bn (£40bn) on the Amsterdam stock exchange. 

4) ‘Farmageddon’ averted by carbon dioxide deal: Production is to restart at two of the UK’s most important carbon dioxide suppliers after ministers agreed to offer a multi-million pound taxpayer subsidy, staving off the threat of widespread food shortages and propping up critical nuclear supply chains.

5) Brussels tries to ban Apple phone chargers: The European Commission is on a new collision course with Apple after announcing it will introduce a new law forcing all mobile phone companies to share a common charger.

Brussels officials will launch the legislation on Thursday in a move likely to be contested by the iPhone maker, whose devices are charged using its own Lightning connector.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: PZ Cussons (full year); Saga, Oxford BioMedica (interim); Halma (trading update)
  • Economics: Consumer confidence (EU); Fed interest rate decision (US), Fed monetary policy statement (US); UK Finance: AFP fraud update (UK)
Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Who is eligible for the £5,000 heat pump grant and how can you apply?

© Provided by The Independent The government has announced that it will offer households in England and Wales grants of £5,000 from next April to help them replace old gas ... Read more »

Workplace pension contributions and coverage should be increased, says study

The UK has jumped up the rankings in a global study of pension systems, but it warned that many savers still face a retirement “cliff edge”. © PA Archive A ... Read more »

Pacquiao to file charges vs. ex-aide over claims with McGregor fight; Joson says boxer owes him millions

© Screen grab/Senate PRIB Senator Manny Pacquiao during Senate finance subcommittee hearing to discuss DSWD’s 2022 budget. Oct. 11, 2021. Screen grab/Senate PRIB Senator Manny Pacquiao is set to file ... Read more »

Covid booster rollout going ‘extremely slowly', warns expert

© PA Wire People receive a Covid-19 booster jab at Croydon University Hospital in south London (Dominic Lipinski/PA) The Covid booster programme is not following the pace of the vaccine ... Read more »

Covid-19 Ireland: Dr Tony Holohan's bleak hospitalisation warning ahead of restrictions easing

© Steve Humphreys/Pool via REUTERS Dr Tony Holohan Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has warned Health Minister Stephen Donnelly that there could be up to 1,000 people in hospital ... Read more »

Private funeral for Jimmy Greaves to be held on Friday as family say they have been ‘overwhelmed' by tributes

© AFP via Getty Images jimmygreavestributetottenham20092021A.jpg The funeral of England great Jimmy Greaves will take place this Friday. Greaves, who died last month at the age of 81, will be ... Read more »

Home and Away stars tease new twists after Tane attack mystery

Photo credit: Endemol Shine – Channel 5 Home and Away spoilers follow. Home and Away's stars have teased further twists in Tane Parata's mystery attack story, as the evidence begins ... Read more »

Austerity was a killer long before Covid-19

A York University study has found that government austerity caused at least 57,550 deaths in a five year period (Getty Images) Austerity was the central economic policy of the Tory-led ... Read more »

Market Movers: What caused investors to pull the chain on IRCTC's bull run?

MUMBAI: All good things come to an end and in the market sometimes they come to an end abruptly. Today, the IRCTC express was brought to a halt unceremoniously as ... Read more »

Nifty, Sensex snap 7-day winning run on volatile day; IRCTC sinks 15%

MUMBAI: Benchmark equity indices halted their seven-session winning run today on a volatile day of trading on Dalal Street, which saw the indices oscillate between gains and losses. The heightened ... Read more »

WHO-led program aims to buy antiviral Covid-19 pills for $10

A World Health Organization-led program to ensure poorer countries get fair access to Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments aims to secure antiviral drugs for patients with mild symptoms for as ... Read more »

Australian Open könnten ohne Tennis-Star Novak Djokovic stattfinden

Diashow ein Ist Novak Djokovic geimpft und wird er an dem Australian Open teilnehmen? Bereits geimpft ist der Deutsche Alexander Zverev. Auch Viktoria Azarenka ist geimpft und startet eine Debatte ... Read more »

China Open moved to December, but off European Tour calendar

Li Haotong of China in action at the 2020 PGA Championship. Li won the China Open in 2016. Photo: AFP The Chinese golf season will climax with the 2021 Volvo ... Read more »

The Real-Life Murder Trial That Inspired Crime and Punishment

© Provided by The Atlantic Illustration by Gabriela Pesqueira. Source: Universal History Archive / Getty Jesus meets Dostoyevsky. He takes one look at him, peers for a diagnostic instant into ... Read more »

Bill Gates terima menantu Muslim, atlet ekuestrian Mesir, berikut 5 fakta mengenainya

ANAK perempuan sulung Bill Gates, Jennifer Gates baru-baru ini melangsungkan perkahwinan dengan atlet ekuestrian Mesir, Nayel Nassar, 30, yang berketurunan Islam. Daily Mail melaporkan pada malam Jumaat lalu, pasangan muda ... Read more »

All Ariana Grande Monster Hunter punchcard challenges in Fortnite

© Provided by GamePur Ariana Grande has returned to Fortnite. The global superstar, who performed a concert in the game earlier this year, can now be found on the map. ... Read more »

Mitec reopens facilities as business events sector reopens

© Provided by New Straits Times KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (Mitec) has reopened its facilities in conjunction with the reopening of the business events sector, ... Read more »

How To Use Your Credit Card Like a Rich Person

© jacoblund / Getty Images/iStockphoto Two young women walking away from a helicopter with a glass of wine in their hands. When used responsibly, credit cards can be an invaluable ... Read more »

Rashid Khan praises 'amazing' Abu Dhabi Cricket as facility begins T20 World Cup duties

© Provided by The National Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan believes the large support for his team in the UAE can boost their T20 World Cup chances. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Cricket ... Read more »

UP elections: Congress to give 40% tickets to women, announces Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

© Provided by DNA Congress National General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday announced that the party will give 40% tickets to contest the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections to ... Read more »

Uttarakhand rains: Havoc claims 11 more lives, death toll reaches 16

© Provided by Zee News Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said 11 deaths were reported on Tuesday (October 19) in a flood-like situation triggered by heavy rains, taking ... Read more »

Multi-agency group probe on Pandora Papers begins

© Provided by The Statesman Multi-agency group probe on Pandora Papers begins After holding their first meeting last week, the multi-agency group on Pandora Papers started its preliminary investigation of ... Read more »

Naxalite with bounty of Rs 2 lakh nabbed by cops in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli

Gadchiroli Police in Maharashtra have nabbed an Action Team Member of a banned Naxal outfit who had a reward of Rs 2 lakh on him. The arrested naxalite has been ... Read more »

Pakistan-Sponsored Terror Proxies With Basic Weapons, Local Youths 'Biggest Threat' to Kashmir

© Provided by News18 Pakistan-Sponsored Terror Proxies With Basic Weapons, Local Youths ‘Biggest Threat’ to Kashmir With the killings of 11 civilians in 14 days in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan-sponsored ... Read more »

Tamil Nadu: 7 men arrested while trying to sell two idols near Chennai

Seven men have been arrested while trying to sell idols of Meenakshi Amman and Rishaba Devar near Chennai. As many as seven men were arrested while trying to sell idols ... Read more »

Three New Judges, Recommended By SC Collegium, Appointed To Orissa High Court

© Provided by News18 Three New Judges, Recommended By SC Collegium, Appointed To Orissa High Court Three newly-appointed judges of the Orissa High Court on Tuesday administered the oath of ... Read more »

Former BJP leader Babul Supriyo formally quits as Asansol MP

© Provided by Hindustan Times Former BJP leader and Union minister of state Babul Supriyo had earlier declared that he will not hold on to his MP seat after quitting the ... Read more »

Dave Ramsey shares five 'proven' ways people can boost their wealth

On a video posted on The Ramsey Show – Highlights YouTube channel in 2019, Dave Ramsey ranted to his viewers that things he teaches is “proven” and “not a theory”. ... Read more »

After Steve Bannon's Virginia event, Glenn Youngkin's Trump-adjacent balancing act is wearing thin

© Provided by Salon Glenn Youngkin Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin speaks to members of the press after casting an early ballot September 23, 2021 in Fairfax, Virginia. Youngkin is ... Read more »

Russia bans male 'extremist' group for online hate

A Russian court has banned as “extremist” a social media movement called Male State, for inciting hatred of women and gay people. © BBC The group’s founder Vladislav Pozdnyakov has ... Read more »

McCarthy predicts more House Democratic retirements to come ahead of 2022 midterms

Amid the rise in the number of House Democrats not running for reelection in next year’s midterms as their party tries to hold on to its fragile majority in the ... Read more »

Big corporations that claim to support voting rights are still funding right-wing state AGs

© Provided by Salon Ken Paxton Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images Major corporations that have publicly touted their support for voting rights amid ... Read more »

New AirPods 3: How to customize the case for free when you buy online

If you’re buying Apple’s new $179 AirPods 3 (the third-generation AirPods for 2021) directly from Apple’s website — or even the second generation AirPods — I can’t see many reasons ... Read more »

AFP updates report on CPP humanitarian law violations with 166 more incidents

AFP thumbnail screenshot from AFP video The Armed Forces of the Philippines updated its report on alleged international humanitarian law violations by the Communist Party of the Philippines with 166 ... Read more »

DEpEd: 46 schools appeal to join November 15 pilot face-to-face classes

Photo by Jannielyn Ann Bigtas Department of Education main office The Department of Education on Tuesday said 46 schools are requesting to be included in the pilot  run of face-to-face ... Read more »

Summaries of 52 drug war cases reviewed by DOJ to be released Wednesday — Guevarra

DOJ building The Department of Justice (DOJ) will release to the public on Wednesday summaries of the 52 drug war cases it reviewed over the past few months, Secretary Menardo ... Read more »

Makabayan bloc seeks probe into alleged ‘no vaccine, no salary' policy

© Rep. Carlos Zarate’s office Photo courtesy of Rep. Zarate’s office The House Makabayan bloc is seeking an inquiry into the alleged “no vaccine, no salary” policy that is reportedly ... Read more »

Kremlin says move to suspend Russian mission to NATO underscores absence of ties

© Reuters/Yves Herman FILE PHOTO: Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building MOSCOW (Reuters) – The ... Read more »

Covid-19: Online child abuse, sexual exploitation spiked during pandemic, says report

© Provided by Khaleej Times Covid-19: Online child abuse, sexual exploitation spiked during pandemic, says report The pandemic has contributed to a significant spike in child sexual exploitation and abuse ... Read more »

Recovery under way in Mena countries but dangers loom, IMF says

© AFP A farm worker in Morocco. The country has rebounded at a faster pace than most Mena nations as a result of economic reforms and its integration in the ... Read more »