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MARKET REPORT: Hospitality jumps after fresh energy bill support

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Shares in hospitality groups surged after news of more energy bill support from the Government.

Reports emerged over the weekend that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is resulting from log out an extension to the prevailing support scheme of six to 12 months.

Extra support can even be given to sectors that use more energy, akin to hospitality and manufacturing, The Sunday Times reported.

Energy boost: Shares rose amongst pub and restaurant firms after reports emerged that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is resulting from log out an extension to the energy bill support scheme

However the package can be expected to stay open to all firms, quite than the unique plan of limiting support only to certain industries.

Shares rose amongst pub and restaurant firms as investors breathed a sigh of relief.

Wetherspoons jumped 2.6 per cent, or 10.6p, to 425.4p and fellow pub group Marston’s climbed 0.2 per cent, or 0.06p, to 37.36p.

Meanwhile, the Restaurant Group, the owner of Wagamama, surged 4.8 per cent, or 1.3p, to twenty-eight.4p.

Manufacturing firms, which use large amounts of energy, also posted gains, with packaging firm Smurfit Kappa rising 1.1 per cent, or 34p, to 3068p and rival DS Smith up 1.8 per cent, or 5.6p, to 317.3p. 

Sunak’s move to increase the energy bill support might also provide a lifeline for smaller businesses, lots of whom face the prospect of going bust within the Latest 12 months as the associated fee of living squeeze and strikes hit consumer demand over the critical Christmas period.

The Federation of Small Businesses previously warned that 1 / 4 of small firms were vulnerable to going under without more energy support from the Government, with gas and electricity prices expected to peak next 12 months.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.4 per cent, or 29.19 points, at 7361.31 and the FTSE 250 was up 0.3 per cent, or 60.48 points, at 18648.96. 

Stock Watch – LBG Media

Shares in LBG Media, the owner of website LadBible, shot higher following a bullish trading update.

The corporate, which publishes content geared toward younger web users, predicted full-year revenues of £63million, up from £54.5million last 12 months, after a ‘robust performance’ in its second half.

LBG said growth had accelerated within the last six months of 2022 despite a ‘difficult economic environment’.

The shares surged 16.9 per cent, or 11.5p, to 79.5p.

Traders were desperate for some festive cheer in the ultimate week before Christmas despite the continuing pressures from inflation and better rates of interest.

The outlook has been dimmed barely by a growing outbreak of Covid-19 in China after Beijing abruptly relaxed restrictions following a wave of protests across the country.

‘As consumers desert streets and hunker down, while firms brace for mass absences, the immediate outlook stays bleak,’ said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

One area supporting the blue-chip index was oil stocks, which posted gains as the value of Brent crude edged up towards $80 a barrel following reports the US government would begin buying oil to replenish its emergency reserves.

BP shares bounced 2.5 per cent, or 11.2p, to 466.6p and Shell gained 2 per cent, or 44p, to 2287p.

The UK, meanwhile, continued to be buffeted by industrial motion with ambulance staff, rail staff and postmen amongst those scheduled to walk out in the approaching days. 

The prospect that retailers could see their critical Christmas sales period disrupted by the strike in addition to the associated fee of living squeeze sent shares in JD Sports down 2.1 per cent, or 2.45p, to 115.65p, Mr Kipling owner Premier Food slipped 1.8 per cent, or 2p, to 107.4p and electronics retailer Currys dropped 4.3 per cent, or 2.45p, to 54.45p.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum slipped 2.3 per cent, or 4.6p, to 196.4p after a production update disillusioned investors.

The Kurdistan-focused energy group predicted its production for 2022 can be ‘on the lower end’ of its guidance of 44,000 to 47,000 barrels of oil per day, which it blamed on the temporary shutdown of one in all its wells following an electrical failure.

Dublin-based constructing materials business CRH gained 2 per cent, or 62p, to 3233.5p after expanding its share buyback programme.

The corporate has decided to return one other £246million in money to investors, bringing the whole up to now to £3.4billion.

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