BUSINESS LIVE: Britvic agrees £3.3bn takeover

Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Britvic, Marston’s, Ocado, ITM Power, Unite Group, Plus500 and Ferrexpo.

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Reeves speech ‘is unlikely to contain many surprises’

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, comments on Rachel Reeves ahead of her first speech as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer:

As the UK seems to be sailing into a period of stability, while waves of uncertainty continue to crash in France, the first speech by Chancellor Rachel Reeves is unlikely to contain many surprises.

Determined to project a ‘steady as she goes’ image, to maintain the early aura of calm which has descended on the new Labour administration, she’s set to focus on her aim to stimulate long-term growth in the economy.

She wants to steer well clear from prompting any kind of bond market strop out which ensued after the Liz Truss mini-Budget fiasco. So, she’s highly unlikely to veer away from the proposals set out in the ‘fully costed’ manifesto which contained modest spending pledges, coupled with a refusal to categorically rule out specific taxes.

The inconvenient truth of the election is that spending cuts were still baked in, but she’s counting on a kick-start to growth to help avoid slashing departmental budgets. That’s why boosting housebuilding by changing planning rules is likely to be the focus today.

Five tips to dodge savings interest tax as a 45p additional rate taxpayer

Many additional rate taxpayers face tax bills on their savings interest, potentially without realising.

Boeing accepts plea deal to avoid a criminal trial over deadly crashes

Boeing executives have accepted a $243.6million plea deal that would see the company avoid a criminal trial over two deadly 737 Max crashes.

Under the agreement, Boeing will plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge stemming from the fatal crashes in Indonesia in October 2018 and in Ethiopia less than five months later that killed a combined 346 people.

French parliamentary elections could rattle markets

Richard Carter, head of fixed interest research at Quilter Cheviot, comments on how the French parliamentary elections will affect markets:

We anticipate that the French election results will elicit a muted market reaction given that investors had largely anticipated the outcome where the Rassemblement National would not secure a majority.

However, there is a growing concern that the market’s current optimism may not fully account for the complexities introduced by the hung parliament. The political deadlock poses significant risks, particularly in light of France’s challenging fiscal position. Moreover, the policies of the far left will be viewed as very unfriendly by markets as well, so the hope is that some sort of moderate left coalition will emerge.

Two weeks ago, the European Commission’s placed France under an Excessive Deficit Procedure and with the parliament in disarray, the likelihood of passing necessary budget cuts diminishes, complicating France’s efforts to adhere to the EU’s stringent budgetary regulations and to steer its public debt towards a more sustainable trajectory.

Mortgage misery led voters to turn against Tories

Tory voters lost faith in the ability of Rishi Sunak’s party to manage the housing market ahead of the election, figures reveal.

A results breakdown shows the Conservatives haemorrhaging support to Labour and the Liberal Democrats in seats with the most mortgage holders.

Grant Thornton mulls private equity deal to drive growth

Grant Thornton is seeking a private equity investor to buy into the 100-year-old business.

The accountancy giant is exploring a potential deal by which the UK company’s audit arm would remain majority-owned by its 220 partners, the Sunday Times reported.