FTSE steady ahead of Sunak’s first PMQs – Market Report

The FTSE 100 held steady in early trading at around 7,000 points. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will take his first PMQs today amid speculation that the fiscal statement due on 31 October, may now be pushed back.

Pharma giant Reckitt Benckiser reported a slowdown in third-quarter sales growth and expects to pass on cost hikes to consumers throughout the rest of the year.

Barclays reported third-quarter pre-tax profits of £2bn, outpacing expectations. Performance was bolstered by a 17% increase in income for its UK business.

Communications outfit WPP also had a good Q3, and revised its revenue forecast for the full year higher.

And Bloomsbury Publishing promised a 5% dividend increase as well as more acquisitions, with the publishing group reporting its highest ever first-half sales and profits.

Elsewhere Ceres Power published an inaugural Sustainability Report detailing how it plans to decarbonise its business and supply chains.

And in biotech, Novacyt said it won UK approval for its multiplex PCR test for the detection of winter viruses. That includes SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus.

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