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BUSINESS LIVE: Crest Nicholson sees earnings hunch

Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Crest Nicholson, Wise, Fuller, Smith & Turner, Virgin Money UK, Motorpoint Group, Halma, and St James’s Place. 

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How the Tories learnt to love taxing the rich

How Covid ushered in six-figure WFH jobs with £150,000 salary offers

When the UK was plunged into the first Covid lockdown, many believed WFH was a temporary measure – and that normal working habits would resume post-pandemic.

Yet more than two years since the last restrictions were lifted in Britain, and after bosses repeatedly asked workers to return to the officer, people continue to work remotely.

Crest Nicholson issues profit warning and slashes shareholder dividend

Crest Nicholson warned its annual profit would fall by around a third and reported an 88 per cent drop in half-year earnings on Thursday, amid sluggish demand in the sector.

The FTSE 250-listed firm cut its dividend for shareholders by 82 per cent and said trading momentum had ‘softened slightly’ since Easter, as British businesses and consumers await the next move by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee on interest rates next week.

MARKET REPORT: Shares in M&S sparkle after HSBC backs stock again

High Street favourite Marks and Spencer was bumped higher after HSBC encouraged clients to buy the stock again.

The bank said the turnaround progress being made by M&S is ‘too good to ignore’ as its popularity and appeal soar.

Fed holds tight on rates but US stock market hits fresh high

The US Federal Reserve held interest rates again last night and indicated that it would make just one cut this year.

But better than expected inflation figures earlier in the day calmed investors’ nerves and led to both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq racking up more gains.

Richard Hunter, of Interactive Investor, said: ‘Investors are apparently comfortable with the new order. While the Dow Jones slipped slightly after a choppy trading session, the S&P500 and Nasdaq drove higher, once more hitting new record closing highs.

The release of the Consumer Price Index revealed an unchanged level for May, annualising to 3.3 per cent, both of which were better than the expected 0.1 per cent rise and 3.4 per cent rate respectively, and also a step in the right direction from April’s 0.3 per cent increase and 3.4 per cent figure. In addition, core inflation, excluding volatile energy and food prices, were also lower than estimates.

‘The baton will now pass to Producer Price Index and weekly unemployment claims data later today.’

Apple passes Microsoft as world’s biggest firm as shares soar 5%

Apple has leapfrogged Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable company as investors cheered its plans to use artificial intelligence (AI).

On Wall Street, the iPhone maker’s shares rose more than 5pc to a record high above $218 – giving it a value of more than $3.3 trillion, or £2.6 trillion.

Elon Musk braced for crunch vote on £44bn Tesla pay deal

Elon Musk’s future as Tesla chief executive hangs in the balance as the electric car firm’s shareholders vote on his £44billion pay deal.

Tensions have grown after a Delaware court voided his compensation package – finding it had been inappropriately set by the board.

Billionaires swoop on FTSE giants: Peltz digs his claws into Rentokil

Two of the richest men in the world have snapped up stakes in stalwarts of the London stock market.

In moves that will raise eyebrows in boardrooms across the City, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim bought more than 3 per cent of BT while US activist Nelson Peltz took a major holding in Rentokil.

Digital bank Starling plots stock market float

Digital bank Starling said it is eyeing a London stock market listing as it revealed profits have jumped 55 per cent.

Interim boss John Mountain said the lender’s board is holding regular talks with investors about an initial public offering (IPO).

The FTSE 100 index opened at 8215.48

The pound at 8am was 1.2776 dollars compared to 1.2841 dollars at the previous close.