Hochschild welcomes Peru government u-turn, Mitchells & Butlers returns to profit
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 17 points lower on Thursday, having closed up 0.27% at 7,286.32 on Wednesday.
Stocks to watch
Hochschild Mining said it welcomed the Peruvian government’s conditional u-turn on a decision to close the company’s mines. Investors dumped the stock on Monday after Lima said four mines in Peru’s southern Ayacucho region, which included Hochschild’s flagship Inmaculada operation, would be closed as soon as possible.
Mitchells & Butlers said it returned to profit after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted but the pub operator warned that rising energy costs and wages would affect its results in the current year. The company's pretax loss narrowed to £42m in the year to 25 September from £123m a year earlier as revenue fell to £1.07bn from £1.48bn. Adjusted operating profit fell to £29m from £99m.
Vivo Energy on Thursday said it had agreed to be taken over by Vitol Investment in a deal worth around $2.3bn. The cash and dividend deal will see Vivo shareholders get $1.79 for each share they hold, plus six cents as a combined interim and special dividend, the companies said in a joint statement.
The government has begun to count the cost of Bulb Energy’s collapse as many begin to wonder whether it is a fair price to pay for policymakers’ failure to spot a looming market breakdown. The life-support scheme set up to allow Bulb to keep supplying gas and electricity to its 1.7 million customers through the winter months could cost taxpayers up to £1.7bn according to a court application to hand the company to a special administrator. - Guardian
Bosses at the insurer LV= have been criticised over alleged conflicts of interest in its controversial £530m private equity takeover, which has been labelled a “three-act tragedy”. LV= plans to demutualise in order to receive investment from Bain Capital, a US private equity firm. However, three-quarters of its member-customers must back the plan in a vote on 10 December. - Guardian
Major oil states including Russia and Saudi Arabia have been urged to ramp up production in a bid to bring prices down to “reasonable levels”. Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), called on members of the OPEC+ cartel to “make the necessary steps in order to comfort the global oil markets”. - Telegraph
The introduction of short-term visas will not solve labour shortages in the food industry, the boss of Lidl has warned, adding that the retailer was working “harder than ever before” to keep shelves stocked. Christian Härtnagel, chief executive of the German discount retailer’s UK business, said that there were labour shortages “in every corner you look at the moment”. The supermarket chain is raising wages for its lowest-paid workers, from £9.50 to £10.10 per hour outside London and from £10.85 to £11.30 in the capital from March next year as it battles with rivals to recruit staff. - The Times
When Steve Ballmer became Microsoft chief executive in 2000, the company was dominant; a tank, unstoppable. University students discussed how to answer likely interview questions if they were lucky enough to be considered for a job there. However, technology rarely stays still and soon new competitors such as Google and the once-mighty Nokia were threatening its dominance. In theory, this could have been Ballmer’s chance to understand what had succeeded in the past and work out what to do next. He wasn’t a man who operated like that, however. If there were threats coming from outside, he felt his job wasn’t merely to block them — it was to obliterate them. - The Times
Wall Street closed in a mixed state on Wednesday, amid a sea of data points and rising rates.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.03% at 35,804.38, while the S&P 500 added 0.23% to 4,701.465 and the Nasdaq Composite was ahead 0.44% at 15,845.23.
The Dow closed 9.42 points lower on Wednesday, taking a small bite out of the gains it recorded in the previous session.
“A sharp drop in initial claims has provided the fundamental reason for optimism, helping to alleviate some of the worries about global growth that seemed to dominate the first two sessions of the week,” said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp earlier in the session.
“Crucially, we have seen a number of the weakest stocks in the US start to stabilise, with names like PayPal and Twitter either holding their ground or beginning to edge higher.”