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UK pre-market stocks update – AstraZeneca, Playtech, Ocado, Covid Update

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By Samuel Indyk – At 07:17GMT, FTSE 100 futures are trading lower by 0.2% at 7422.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3539, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8345. The US Dollar Index is down 0.1%.

Bitcoin is trading at $46,433.

Today’s calendar highlights include Eurozone Services PMI, Canadian Building Permits, US Services PMI, Crude Oil Inventories, FOMC Meeting Minutes.


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a “good chance” he would not impose new coronavirus restrictions for England despite a surge in cases. Johnson added that parts of the NHS could feel “temporarily overwhelmed” due to the spread of Omicron. He also announced plans for 100,000 critical workers – including food processing and border force – to take daily tests.


AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) – AstraZeneca has completed the transfer of its global rights to Eklira and Duaklir to Covis Pharma. AstraZeneca received a payment of $270 million from Covis Pharma and will also receive payments in respect of certain ongoing development costs related to the medicines.

Playtech (LON:PTEC) – Intends to adjourn the Court and General Meetings relating to the offer for Playtech by Aristocrat Leisure Limited, previously scheduled for 12 January 2022, to the new date of 2 February 2022. Playtech and JKO Play Limited have requested the Panel set a revised deadline, aligned to this new date for the Shareholder Meetings, by which JKO must clarify its intentions in relation to Playtech. Previously, Playtech had agreed to a takeover by Aristocrat. JKO made a preliminary approach for Playtech and talks are “progressing”.

Oxford BioMedica (LON:OXB) – Signed a new License and Supply Agreement with Cabaletta Bio granting Cabaletta Bio a non-exclusive license to Oxford Biomedica’s LentiVector platform for its application in Cabaletta Bio’s leading Chimeric AutoAntibody Receptor (CAAR) T programme, DSG3-CAART. Financial arrangements of this agreement are in line with comparable deals the Group has previously secured.

Airtel Africa (LON:AAF) – Closed first transaction to sell its telecommunications tower assets in Tanzania to a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:SBAC). The gross consideration for the transaction will be $176.1 million.

Ocado (LON:OCDO) – Upgraded to buy from hold by Berenberg.

London Stock Exchange Group (LON:LSEG) – Upgraded to buy from neutral at Citi.

Ferguson (LON:FERG) – Upgraded to buy from hold by Berenberg.

InterContinental Hotels Group (LON:IHG) – Upgraded to buy from neutral by UBS.

UK pre-market stocks update – AstraZeneca, Playtech, Ocado, Covid Update

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