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London stocks set to rise at open

written by Bella Palmer

The FTSE 100 was called to open 15 points higher at 7,376

London stocks were set to rise at the open on Wednesday following losses in the previous session.

The FTSE 100 was called to open 15 points higher at 7,376.

Investors were mulling over the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium and NielsenIQ, which showed that shop price inflation jumped to 5.1% in August from 4.1% in July. Meanwhile, fresh food prices increased by 10.5% - the highest rate since September 2008.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: Mounting cost pressures up and down supply chains meant shop price inflation hit a new high in August. The war in Ukraine, and consequent rise in the price of animal feed, fertiliser, wheat and vegetable oils continued to push up food prices. Fresh food inflation in particular, surged to its highest level since 2008, and products such as milk, margarine and crisps saw the biggest rises.

The rise in shop prices is playing into wider UK inflation, which some analysts are predicting could top 18% in 2023. The situation is bleak for both consumers and retailers, but retail businesses will remain committed to supporting their customers through offering discounts to vulnerable groups, expanding value ranges, fixing prices of essentials, and raising staff pay. However, as retailers also grapple with growing cost pressures, there is only so much they can shoulder, she said.

The new Prime Minister will have an opportunity to relieve some of the cost burden bearing down on retailers, like the upcoming increase in business rates, in order to help retailers do more to help their customers, she said.

Looking ahead, investors will be eyeing the latest US ADP employment report at 12:15 pm GMT.

Corporate news was thin on the ground.

The value of rough diamond sales at Anglo American's De Beers dipped to $630m in the seventh cycle of the year from $638m in the sixth.

However, the value was up from $522m in the seventh cycle of last year.

Chief executive officer Bruce Cleaver said: De Beers Group rough diamond sales continued at a steady level in the seventh sales cycle of 2022.

He said: In line with normal seasonal trends, we anticipate that sales in the next few cycles will be affected by the temporary closure of polishing factories for the Diwali holidays.


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