Tesco Q1 LFL sales tick up, PZ Cussons sees annual profit down on last year
The FSTE 100 was called to open 19 points lower at 7,348.
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Tesco said first quarter like-for-like sales rose 0.2% to £13.9bn, with UK sales up 0.4% to £9bn and growth at the newly acquired Booker over the period.
PZ Cussons said its annual profit before tax will come in at close to £70m, roughly £10m lower than the year before on the back of a "disappointing" performance in Africa as the consumer backdrop continues to weaken in Nigeria.
More than half of people using the government’s help-to-buy loan scheme could have purchased a home without support from the state, according to Whitehall’s spending watchdog. In a critical report into the government’s flagship scheme to help more people get on the property ladder, the National Audit Office said about three-fifths of buyers could have bought a home without the support. - Guardian
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which manages $1tn (£786bn) of Norway’s assets, has been given the go ahead for the largest fossil fuel divestment to date by dropping more than $13bn of investments. Norway’s parliament voted plans into law on Wednesday for the fund to dump investments in eight coal companies and an estimated 150 oil producers. – Guardian
The fallout from the crisis at Neil Woodford’s investment firm has spread to the stockpicker’s other open-ended fund after its assets shrank by more than £100 million in less than a fortnight. Data from Morningstar, the research company, shows that the assets in his Income Focus Fund have fallen to £371 million from £480 million on June 3, the day when Mr Woodford shocked the investment industry with the suspension of withdrawals from his main fund. – The Times
Facebook is to hire 500 software engineers in London to help it to police fake news, bullying and other malicious activity on its networks. The technology company and publisher said yesterday that 100 of the new roles would involve work in artificial intelligence and that a significant number would be in its community integrity team responsible for user safety. – The Times
Wall Street stocks closed lower for a second consecutive day on Wednesday after the White House hardened its stance on trade talks with China.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.17% at 26,004.83, while the S&P 500 closed 0.20% softer at 2,879.84 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.38% weaker at 7,7792.72.