S4 Capital on buyout trail, Virgin Wines UK inks partnership with Moonpig
The FTSE 100 is being called to start the session 32 points higher to 7,059.
Stocks to watch
Virgin Wines UK, one of the UK's largest direct-to-consumer online wine retailers, announced that it had entered into a first of its kind partnership with Moonpig Group to launch a range of products with the UK's leading online greeting card and gifting platform.
Martin Sorrell's digital-only advertising group S4 Capital said it was buying technology services company Zemoga for an undisclosed sum. Sorrell, who founded ad giant WPP, said the move was a “significant first step towards building a third practice area around technology services”. Zemoga provides product design, engineering and delivery services to clients including Bridgestone, Sony, Roku and Morningstar, he added.
In the press
Ministers aim to secure a multibillion-pound investment from Saudi Arabia to fund renewable energy and infrastructure projects in the UK after yesterday’s announcement of a £10 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates. Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, visited Saudi Arabia in June for talks with its foreign minister, and negotiations are understood to be under way with Boris Johnson’s investment envoy Lord Grimstone of Boscobel. - The Times
Marks & Spencer is closing 11 of its franchised stores in France as a result of Brexit-related supply problems. The retailer said that the stores, operated with its French partner SFH, would be shuttered over the coming months because of the difficulty of supplying them with fresh and chilled products from the UK. - The Times
One of the world’s richest men has thrown his weight behind British biotechnology star Oxford Nanopore. American billionaire Larry Ellison has committed to invest £150million in the company when it floats on the stock market in London next month. The investment will be made through 77-year-old Ellison’s cloud computing business Oracle Corporation. - Daily Mail
Wall Street stocks turned in a mixed performance on Thursday as investors digested last month's retail sales report and a bigger-than-expected increase in initial jobless claims.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.18% at 34,751.32 and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite was 0.16% weaker at 4,473.75, while the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.13% firmer at 15,181.92.
The Dow closed 63.07 points lower on Thursday, cutting into gains recorded in the previous session.
Thursday's primary focus was US retail sales, which rose unexpectedly in August, with a broad pickup in purchases across the majority of categories more than offsetting weakness at auto dealers. According to the Department of Commerce, the value of overall retail purchases climbed 0.7% last month, following a downwardly revised 1.8% decrease in July. Excluding autos, sales advanced 1.8% in August for their largest increase in the last five months.