Aviva buys AIG's UK protection business, GSK gets Japan vaccine approval
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 30 points lower on Monday, having closed up 0.07% on Friday at 7,683.91.
Stocks to watch
British insurer Aviva on Monday said it had bought AIG's UK protection business for £460m. AIG Life UK provides a full suite of individual and group protection products, with 1.3 million individual protection customers and 1.4 million group protection members, Aviva said.
GSK announced the approval of its Arexvy vaccine by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on Monday to prevent RSV disease in adults aged 60 and above, marking the first RSV vaccine for this age group in Japan. The vaccine, which showed an efficacy of 82.6% in phase three trials, aims to combat the virus, resulting in about 63,000 hospitalisations and 4,500 deaths annually in older adults in Japan. It added to previous authorisations in the US, Europe, the UK, and Canada.
Ladbrokes owner Entain said third-quarter net gaming revenue (NGR) had been softer than expected, driven by adverse sporting results during September and tighter gambling regulation worldwide. The company on Monday said online NGR growth was now expected to be up high single-digit per cent and down high single-digit per cent on a proforma basis. It added that growth had been slower than expected in Australia and Italy.
NatWest hired private detectives to look into the health of borrowers who owed money to its notorious Global Restructuring Group, it has been claimed. A “tracing agent” convicted of illegally obtaining personal information of bank customers has alleged that NatWest instructed him to report on debtors’ health conditions during the scandal at GRG. - The Times
Britain’s slowing economy has cost families £1,400 a year, the Resolution Foundation has said. The think tank said households have borne the brunt of Britain’s economic decline over the past 15 years, which has been fuelled by shocks such as the financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic. - Telegraph
Car giants including Renault, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have called on EU leaders to “act now” and delay plans for a 10% tariff on electric car exports from Europe. Renault’s chief, Luca de Meo, led the calls, saying that if the EU did not take action, then policymakers would simply be “handing a chunk of the market to global manufacturers”, including Chinese companies, which are making significant inroads. - Guardian
A British biopharmaceuticals business has completed a deal to list on the Nasdaq, delivering a further blow to the London Stock Exchange, which has struggled to persuade fast-growing companies to float in the UK. Conduit Pharmaceuticals completed its merger with Murphy Canyon Acquisition Corp, a Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company after the US market closed on Friday. The deal placed a value of $1.2 billion on the business. The new combined company has been named Conduit Pharmaceuticals. - The Times
Gas and electricity suppliers have been accused of profiteering and discrimination by businesses, including Iceland and Burger King. British businesses have raised concerns over the behaviour of gas and electricity companies in submissions to the energy regulator. The sector has come under increasing scrutiny since the energy crisis sent bills spiralling. - Telegraph
It would be “crazy” not to reassess whether the full HS2 rail project remains viable, Grant Shapps has said, amid signs the government could axe the northern leg. After nearly a week of briefings that ministers are preparing to ditch the Birmingham to Manchester section, the defence secretary refused to rule out such a move. - Guardian
Stocks on Wall Street fell for a third straight day on Friday after the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting, after which the central bank indicated that rates will stay elevated for the foreseeable future.
After struggling for direction for most of the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped into the red by the close, finishing down 0.3% at 33,964, while the S&P 500 fell 0.2% to 4,320 and the Nasdaq slipped 0.1% to 13,212.
US markets had been in retreat mode since Wednesday after the Federal Open Market Committee suggested that an interest rate hike was probable before the end of the year.
While policymakers kept rates unchanged at the 5.25-5.5% range at this month's meeting, they predicted that rates would likely stay around the 5% level for 2024 as they commit to a 'higher-for-longer' approach.
In US economic data on Friday, the S&P Global services purchasing managers' index (PMI) slipped from 50.5 to 50.2 in September, surprising analysts who had expected a rise to 50.6.