Market Report

FTSE 100 started the week on the front foot helped by strength in the oil, mining and banking sectors as economic data in the US and China eased fears about a global recession. The lead index was trading 33 points higher at 7,473.

Next has been in talks to take a big stake in Joules, the struggling fashion and lifestyle products chain. It intends to acquire up to 25% of the smaller London-listed retailer, according to the reports, sending shares in Joules soaring.

“Acute” labour shortages have forced Qantas Airways to ask senior executives to work as baggage handlers for three months. Approximately 100 volunteers are needed to serve at airports in Sydney and Melbourne.

An AstraZeneca breast cancer treatment drug, which it hailed as ‘transformational,’ has received fast-track sign-off by the US regulator. Enhertu has been approved for use in women with the HER-2 form of the disease where the tumour can’t be operated on or where the cancer has spread.

Next Fifteen and M&C Saatchi pushed back the deadline over a £310mln proposed takeover in the latest roadblock in discussions around the merger. The companies have now agreed on a date of 31 October, which comes after the closing date for a competing bid for Saatchi.

Among the small caps, Early stage investor SEED Innovations is contributing £50,000 to a £1mln fundraiser by all-female health and beauty company South West Brands. South West already has lines in Superdrug and on Asos.

Bidstack Group said sales, gross margin and its cash balance all improved in the six months to 30 June. Revenue surged almost 150% to £2mln for the in-game brand activation platform.

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