United Utilities submits five-year spending plan, Pennon trading in line
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 17 points lower on Monday, having closed up 0.08% on Friday at 7,608.08.
Stocks to watch
United Utilities unveiled its plans for the 2025-2030 period on Monday, projecting expenditure of £13.7bn, leading to 8.7% yearly growth in regulated capital value. The plan would support 30,000 jobs in the north west, including 7,000 new positions, and provide affordability schemes worth £525m, aiding over one-sixth of its customers. Additionally, the submitted plan emphasised customer, community, and environmental priorities, including significant reduction plans for combined sewer overflow spills and enhanced water supply security for over three million homes.
South West-focused water and wastewater group Pennon said it traded in line with expectations in its first half as it submitted plans to Ofwat to invest £2.8bn in water quality and resilience. The investment, for South West Water, relates to the K8 period between 2025 and 2030, and will create 2,000 jobs along with 1,000 apprenticeships and graduates.
They are the things you didn’t know you needed but now can’t live without: a fitness tracker, wireless headphones, a fancy “bean-to-cup” coffee maker and, more recently, an air fryer. For women add a flattering jumpsuit and white trainers (but forget the floral midi). So says John Lewis in its latest retail report. The annual exercise usually shines a light on the current year’s key products and trends but what’s different this time is, after scrutinising buying habits for 10 years, it also identifies “products of the decade”. – Guardian
A quarter of young homeowners who have a new mortgage have opted to pay it back over 35 years or more in an attempt to make monthly payments more affordable, according to Experian. Analysis by the credit data company found that 25% of new homeowners aged 29 and under between January and March this year had opted for a repayment term of at least 35 years. – Guardian
The former boss of BP Bernard Looney is facing fresh allegations after the oil company’s 60,000 pensioners accused him of slashing their retirement pots. BP Pensioner Group has written to the company’s legal team to raise concerns over Mr Looney’s management of the pension fund and is now preparing a possible lawsuit against the firm. – Telegraph
BAE Systems has been handed a £3.95bn contract to build the next generation of nuclear-powered submarines as part of the Aukus security pact with Australia and the US. The deal with the UK defence giant was announced by defence secretary Grant Shapps and follows plans laid out by the three countries in March to supply Australia with attack submarines to counter China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific. – Telegraph
The City regulator broke data protection rules by “intercepting and diverting” emails, a policy that was allegedly signed off by Andrew Bailey’s office and used to keep track of people “considered a nuisance”. The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s data regulator, concluded that the Financial Conduct Authority had “infringed their data protection obligations” after a former member of staff at the regulator complained about the policy. – The Times
Businesses will pay an extra £1.56 billion in property bills from next year unless the chancellor freezes business rates again, a real estate firm has warned. Last autumn Jeremy Hunt announced a support package worth £13.6 billion to help businesses still recovering from the pandemic. It included freezing business rates, which usually increase annually, as well as increasing the discount for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from 50 per cent to 75 percent for 12 months, capped at £110,000 per company. – The Times
Despite a positive start, US stocks finished mostly lower on Friday despite some in-line inflation data, as an impending government shutdown rattled investors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.5% by the closing bell at 33,508, the S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 4,288, while the Nasdaq actually rose 0.1% to 13,219 (though the index was well off its intraday high).
For the S&P 500 at least, September’s 4.9% drop was the worst monthly performance for the index so far this year – though September always tends to be a bad month for stock markets.