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FTSE 100 slips further as Chancellor speaks

© Reuters. FTSE 100 slips further as Chancellor speaks

FTSE 100 slips further, down 60 points
Sterling hits fresh 37 year low
Consumer confidence tumbles – GfK

10.00am: More from the Chancellor

Kwarteng confirms the planned increase in corporation tax has been cancelled.

The planned increase in national insurance contributions has also been scrapped as confirmed yesterday.

The stamp duty threshold for house purchases has been doubled to £250,000.

Higher tax rate of 45% has been scrapped and the Chancellor brings forward the reduction in the basic rate of income tax to 18% to April 2023.

FTSE 100 is now down 60 points to 7,100, while the pound remained below US$1.12.

9.45am: Mini-budget underway

Confirms that cap on bankers’ bonuses have been scrapped.

The Government wants to get the trend rate of growth up to 2.5%.

Measures to cut energy prices will reduce peak inflation by around 5 percentage points.

The Office for Budget Responsibility will publish an economic forecast before the end of the year.

9.25am: TheWorks on the move upwards

Shares in TheWorks.co.uk (LON:WRKS) soared 42% after reporting strong growth in revenue and profits which importantly came in above the reduced expectations the company had set in August.

Adjusted EBITDA increased to £16.6mln for the full year from £4.3mln last time ahead of the £16.5mln forecast in August when the company warned of a deteriorating market outlook, low consumer confidence and rising inflation.

Profit before tax of £10.2mln compared with a loss of £2.8m in full year 2021.

“Trading since the group’s update on 8 August 2022 has remained resilient however the outlook for full year 2023 is unchanged, reflecting the board’s desire to remain cautious in light of the uncertain economic conditions” the group said.

8.55am: FTSE dips ahead of mini-budget

London’s blue-chip index dipped ahead of the mini-budget at 9.30am and sterling hit a fresh 37 year low as the markets fretted about how the UK would pay for the tax cuts and spending measures that are likely to be unveiled.

Together with a survey showing a sharp fall in consumer confidence it showed the challenges facing the Government.

At 8.50am the FTSE 100 was down 21 points at 7,138.

Traders are expecting the Chancellor to slash taxes as part of the Government’s plan to boost growth amid a deepening cost-of-living crisis.

He has already confirmed that the recent increase in National Insurance will be reversed from November.

Further cuts could include scrapping the planned increase in corporation tax and slashing stamp duty.

A drop in oil prices hit index heavyweights BP PLC (LON:BP) (down 1.4%) and Shell (LON:RDSa) (down 1.9%) with Brent crude down 1.26% to US$88.48.

Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) PLC rose 2% as it reported its fastest revenue growth in a decade.

Prudential PLC (LON:PRU) advanced 2.2% after positive comments from broker JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Cazenove which raised its price target to 1450p from 1380p and reiterated its overweight rating.

But Made.com Group PLC (LSE:MADE) tumbled 32% after putting itself up for sale as part of a review of possible options to “maximise value for shareholders”, as it has been unable to attract investors to an equity fundraising.

The struggling online furniture retailer, which floated last year and has seen its shares almost wiped out since, said “unexpected events” this month in the UK have seen trading and its financial position both deteriorate further.

Due to the continued uncertainty, directors have withdrawn full-year financial guidance.

8.25am: Sterling under pressure

The pound has plunged again this morning as traders gear up for Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax cuts.

The pound dropped below $1.12 for the first time since 1985, extending its recent run of losses.

Meanwhile, the euro also dropped to its lowest against the dollar since 2002.

8.10am: FTSE little changed, consumer confidence hits new low – GfK

FTSE 100 in subdued mood at the open hovering around opening levels ahead of the mini-budget at 9.30am.

At 8.10am London’s blue chip index was trading down 4 points at 7,155.

The impact of the cost of living crisis was seen in GfK’s long-running consumer confidence Index decreased five points in September to -49, setting yet another record low.

Four measures were down in comparison to the August 19th announcement, and one was flat.

Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK said: “UK consumer confidence tumbled in September to a new low of -49, the worst overall index score since records began in 1974.”

“There have been new lows in four out of the last five months and all measures are once again severely depressed.”

“Especially worrying are the two key future-facing indicators on personal finances in the coming year (down nine points to -40) and the economy in the next 12 months (down eight to -68)” he said.

“Consumers are buckling under the pressure of the UK’s growing cost-of-living crisis driven by rapidly rising food prices, domestic fuel bills and mortgage payments.”

7.50am: Smiths’ delivers fastest revenue growth in a decade

Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) PLC reported its fastest revenue growth in nearly a decade as it unveiled full year results to the end of July, 2022.

Revenue of £2,566mln, rose +3.8% on an organic basis and ahead of expectations it said, with operating profits up 1.7% to £417mln, again on an organic basis.

Return on capital employed rose 30 basis points (bps) to 14.2% although organic operating margins dipped 30bps to 16.3%.

The FTSE 100 listed engineering group reported high demand across most end markets with strong order growth of +11% and rewarded shareholders with a 5% increase in the total dividend to 39.6p.

The group said pricing actions were offsetting inflation and mitigating other supply chain impacts.

Looking ahead Smiths’ forecast 4.0%-4.5% organic revenue growth with moderate margin improvement with strong order books and leading market positions to support sustained momentum.

7.30am: Chancellor to focus on growth

Kwasi Kwarteng will promise a “new era for Britain” with a major package of measures to “turn the vicious cycle of stagnation into a virtuous cycle of growth” Sky News reports.

The chancellor is set to announce tens of billions of pounds both of increased spending and of tax cuts when he delivers his mini-budget at around 9.30am on Friday.

The statement is expected to include details of how the government will fund the energy price cap for households and businesses, and put into practice many of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s tax-slashing promises.

The government is dubbing it a “growth plan” at a time when the UK faces a cost of living crisis, soaring inflation and climbing interest rates.

Speaking about his priorities in a speech to the House of Commons, the chancellor is expected to say: “Growth is not as high as it needs to be, which has made it harder to pay for public services, requiring taxes to rise.

“This cycle of stagnation has led to the tax burden being forecast to reach the highest levels since the late 1940s.”

“We are determined to break that cycle. We need a new approach for a new era focused on growth.

7.00am: FTSE 100 set to open higher

FTSE 100 expected to open higher this morning, looking to end the week on a brighter note after heavy losses yesterday, with attention in London focused on the mini budget due at 9.30am.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Karteng has also announced a reversal in the national insurance increase made by his predecessor while the corporation tax rise that was due to take effect next year may also be cancelled.

Ahead of this spread betting companies are calling London’s blue-chip index up by around 20 points.

In the US, markets endured another down day.

The Dow closed Thursday down 108 points, 0.4%, at 30,076, the Nasdaq Composite lost 153 points, 1.4%, to 11.067 and the S&P 500 declined 32 points, 0.8%, to 3,758.

The Dow nearly salvaged a winning day, flashing into the green in the afternoon, but ultimately the benchmarks each declined for the third consecutive session.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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