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Share Price Information for Digital 9 (DGI9)

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Share Price: 22.30
Bid: 22.10
Ask: 22.35
Change: 0.05 (0.22%)
Spread: 0.25 (1.131%)
Open: 22.30
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Low: 22.30
Prev. Close: 22.25
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LONDON BRIEFING: NatWest notes "serious failings" in Farage findings

Fri, 27th Oct 2023 07:54

(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are set to open slightly higher on Friday, as investors wait for a key US inflation reading.

Asian stocks on Friday were able to shake off a weak close on Wall Street.

"Asian shares have ridden the coattails of an after-hours bid on Wall Street futures. All the while, investors eagerly await an anticipated fall in core inflation for September, possibly pushing the annual rate down from 3.9% to 3.7%," said Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management.

"However, given the gloomy market forecast, it's uncertain how investors will ultimately react to positive data, but if the print comes in hot, it won't be pretty."

In corporate news, NatWest posted some fairly steady third-quarter earnings, but warned of some "serious failings" regarding its treatment of Nigel Farage.

Here is what you need to know at the London market open:

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MARKETS

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FTSE 100: called up 0.1% at 7,364.40

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Hang Seng: up 2.1% at 17,405.55

Nikkei 225: closed up 1.3% at 30,991.69

S&P/ASX 200: closed up 0.2% at 6,826.90

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DJIA: closed down 251.63 points, or 0.8%, at 32,784.30

S&P 500: closed down 1.2% at 4,137.23

Nasdaq Composite: closed down 1.8% at 12,595.60

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EUR: up at USD1.0558 (USD1.0527)

GBP: up at USD1.2121 (USD1.2105)

USD: down at JPY150.22 (JPY150.48)

Gold: up at USD1,987.88 per ounce (USD1,978.13)

(Brent): up at USD88.20 a barrel (USD87.74)

(changes since previous London equities close)

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ECONOMICS

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Friday's key economic events still to come:

11:00 IST Ireland retail sales index

11:00 IST Ireland GDP

08:30 EDT US personal income and outlays

10:00 EDT US University of Michigan survey of consumers

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The US military launched airstrikes early on Friday on two locations in eastern Syria linked to Iran's revolutionary guard corps, the Pentagon said. It comes in retaliation for a slew of drone and missile attacks against US bases and personnel in the region that began early last week. The US wants to hit Iranian-backed groups suspected of targeting the US as strongly as possible to deter future aggression, possibly fuelled by Israel's war against Hamas, while also working to avoid inflaming the region and provoking a wider conflict. According to the Pentagon, there have been at least 12 attacks on US bases and personnel in Iraq and four in Syria since October 17.

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The US Department of Defence is deploying about 900 soldiers to the Middle East to bolster the protection of their troops against the backdrop of the conflict in Gaza, Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said. Ryder would not comment on where the troops would be deployed, other than to say "these forces... are not going to Israel" but rather "are intended to support regional deterrence efforts and further bolster US force protection capabilities."

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BROKER RATING CHANGES

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Berenberg cuts Reckitt Benckiser to 'hold' (buy) - price target 6,400 (7,170) pence

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JPMorgan raises Trainline to 'overweight' (neutral) - price target 300 (295) pence

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JPMorgan cuts St James's Place price target to 795 (1,063) pence - 'neutral'

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COMPANIES - FTSE 100

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NatWest reported that in third quarter of 2023, total income rose to GBP3.49 billion from GBP3.23 billion a year earlier. Operating pretax profit rose to GBP1.33 billion from GBP1.09 billion. Looking ahead, NatWest expects to return significant capital via dividend and buybacks in the medium term. "Today's Q3 2023 results show that NatWest is a strong bank which is performing well, generating sustainable profits and returns. This performance is built on the foundations of strong customer franchises and a robust balance sheet with high levels of liquidity and a well-diversified loan book. As a result, credit losses and impairments remain low and we are ready and able to stand by our customers and businesses through the current economic uncertainty," said Chief Executive Paul Thwaite. In a separate statement, NatWest published findings of Travers Smith review of the controversial closure of Nigel Farage's Coutts account. It said the decision to close Farage's bank account was "lawful". However, it identified a "number" of shortcomings in how the decision was reached, how the bank communicated with Farage and how it treated his confidential information. Chair Howard Davies said: "This report sets out a number of serious failings in the treatment of Mr Farage."

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International Consolidated Airlines reported that revenue in the third quarter of 2023 rose to EUR8.65 billion from EUR7.33 billion a year earlier. Pretax profit climbed 57% to EUR1.58 billion from EUR1.01 billion. Looking ahead, IAG said it expects "2023 to be a year of strong recovery." It added that overall customer bookings for the fourth quarter are as expected. "This quarter represents a record third quarter performance for IAG. This is allowing us to invest in the business and reduce a significant amount of our debt," said CEO Luis Gallego. "During the third quarter we saw sustained strong demand across all our routes, in particular the North and South Atlantic and in all leisure destinations around Europe. We continue to develop our hubs of Barcelona, Dublin, London and Madrid, supported by our fleet deliveries and future orders."

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COMPANIES - FTSE 250

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Digital 9 Infrastructure said it is assessing a divestment of its entire stake in the Verne Global group of companies. "The company received indicative offers from interested parties for the proposed transaction during the competitive process to syndicate a majority stake in Verne Global to a strategic capital partner and executed terms are expected to be announced in Q4 2023," Digital 9 said. Earlier in October, the investor said it would be retaining Goldman Sachs International as a financial adviser to support the development of "a set of actions focused on maximising shareholder value". At the time, it had said the move followed consultation with shareholders after some had given feedback about the company's dividend policy and "future direction".

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Bellway said it has completed its share buyback, which was announced back in March and was up to GBP100 million. It said that, under the second tranche of the buyback, it has repurchased 2.4 million shares for about GBP50 million. As a result, Bellway has returned GBP100 million to its shareholders through the completion of the buyback programme.

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OTHER COMPANIES

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Medical technology company Masimo said a US trade commission has recommended banning imports of Apple's Apple Watch models that infringe its light technology for detecting blood oxygen levels. The US International Trade Commission issued a "limited exclusion order" set to go into effect in 60 days if not nixed by President Joe Biden, according to California-based Masimo. "Today's ruling by the USITC sends a powerful message that even the world's largest company is not above the law," Masimo chief executive Joe Kiani said in a release. "This important determination is a strong validation of our efforts to hold Apple accountable for unlawfully misappropriating our patented technology."

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By Sophie Rose, Alliance News reporter

Comments and questions to newsroom@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2023 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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