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Four more energy suppliers go bust

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Energy supplier collapse Ofgem - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Energy supplier collapse Ofgem - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Four more energy companies have gone out of business as the surge in wholesale gas suppliers continues to take its toll.

Omni Energy, MA Energy, Zebra Power and Ampoweruk all said they were ceasing to trade on Tuesday. Regulator Ofgem said it will choose suppliers to take on around 21,000 domestic customers affected by the collapses.

It marks the latest in a string of supplier failures over the last two months as the energy price cap has left many smaller players unable to pass higher costs on to customers.

Ofgem has opened a consultation into how it caps bills, but the Government has said there will be no change to the price cap until at least April.

The number of UK households whose energy provider has ceased trading this year now stands at 2m as surging gas costs have priced smaller vendors out of the industry. More than 16 energy companies have gone bust since August.

When energy companies collapse, people do not need to do anything, since their tariff will be taken up by another provider within a few days.

Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, said: “We know this is a worrying time for many people and news of a supplier going out of business can be unsettling.

“I want to reassure affected customers that they do not need to worry: under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies continue."

Last week, it was revealed that fears are also mounting for Bulb – the seventh largest player in the UK market — amid reports ministers are braced for its imminent collapse.

Start-up energy company Bulb has 1.7m customers and would be by far the largest victim of a global gas supply crunch, which has triggered a six-fold climb in wholesale gas prices and four-fold climb in wholesale power prices.

06:36 PM

That's all for today

Thank you for joining us, a reminder of today's headlines so far:

06:13 PM

EU and Bill Gates agree $1bn 'moonshot' climate funding deal

The European Union and Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates have signed off on plans for a $1bn fund for moonshot climate change technologies.

The projects will be picked next year, focusing on clean hydrogen, energy storage, carbon capture and clean aviation fuel.

Mr Gates said none of the projects would include funding for nuclear, despite his own backing for nuclear technologies such as fusion.

05:53 PM

Car rental stocks boom

Shares in car rental firm Avis Budget more than doubled in early trading today, up 160pc at one stage, as it became the latest company to benefit from a surge in so-called "meme" stocks.

Traders on Reddit forums have taken unloved the car rental firm under their wing. Talk from executives about a push towards electrifying its fleet and hype around reports of a deal between rental provider Hertz and Tesla have triggered a buying frenzy.

Having opened at around $200, Avis shares shot up as high as $535.

Elsewhere, Elon Musk appeared to cast doubt on a deal between Tesla and vehicle rental company Hertz on Monday night. Hertz said in October it had made an initial order of 100,000 vehicles from Tesla as it electrifies its vehicle fleet.

However, responding to a fan on Twitter, Mr Musk said: “I’d like to emphasise that no contract has been signed yet. Tesla has far more demand than production, therefore we will only sell cars to Hertz for the same margin as to consumers.”

Despite the apparent setback, Hertz shares were trading up around 9pc after initially falling 7pc.

05:41 PM

France's stock market at highest close in two decades

France's CAC 40 Index has posted its first record close since the dot-com boom as demand for its luxury goods and banking stocks rebounded. The index rose 0.5pc to 6,927 in Paris on Tuesday, surpassing a peak set in September 2000.

Bloomberg has more:

Luxury stocks LVMH, Hermes International and Kering SA account for about a quarter of the CAC’s 25pc advance in 2021, while a surge in oil prices boosted energy stock TotalEnergies SE, making it the second-largest contributor overall after LVMH.

Banking stocks BNP Paribas and Societe Generale , as well as cosmetics maker L’Oreal and electrical-equipment company Schneider Electric, also jumped this year.

The CAC’s renaissance has been a long time coming. It’s one of the best performers among major western European indexes this year, but it has taken longer than German and Swiss benchmarks to claw back its record.

05:38 PM

Meanwhile, in a field near Felixstow

A shortage of lorry drivers and congestion at the port of Felixstowe is forcing shipping companies to store empty containers in a nearby field.

About 1,000 containers have been stacked up at a former RAF airbase in Eye, Suffolk, 30 miles from Felixstowe which is overflowing with the 40ft steel boxes, writes Alan Tovey.

Felixstowe - SWNS
Felixstowe - SWNS

Last month shipping giant Maersk diverted ships away from the port, which handles about a third of container traffic into the UK, because there was no room to unload. Ports around the world have been suffering severe congestion in recent months as a shortage of lorry drivers and lack of staff means containers cannot be moved away fast enough.

Read more: Congestion forces Felixstowe to stack thousands of shipping containers in a field

05:16 PM

Flutter takes £50m hit after being frozen out of Netherlands

The boss of Flutter Peter Jackson says Dutch authorities are favouring domestic betting firms after it was forced to suspended operations in the Netherlands.

The shut down cost Britain’s biggest betting company £50m in lost profits, Oliver Gill reports.

Coupled with a bad run of football results during the first 24 days of October, the FTSE 100 company was forced to downgrade its profit outlook. Shares fell 7.2pc, wiping more than £1.5bn off its stock market value.

The Netherlands Gambling Authority introduced new betting laws on Oct 1. Some operators have been allowed to continue, but others including Flutter have been asked to stop taking bets.

04:45 PM

Tesla issues recall over self-driving software bug

Tesla has issued a recall warning on 12,000 vehicles after a fault in a self-driving software update caused the emergency brakes on its electric cars to activate unexpectedly.

In a filing with the US highways regulator, Tesla admitted that a remote software change to its “full-self driving (beta)” technology on October 23 had caused cars to come to a sudden stop.

The electric car company, run by billionaire Elon Musk, said it cancelled the update and disabled the software on vehicles that had already installed it.

The voluntary recall comes after a Tweet by Mr Musk, who admitted its self-driving software was “seeing some issues” and that it had paused the launch temporarily. It said the problem was caused by a failure in communication between two silicon chips. It said it believed there had been no accidents as a result.

It is the latest set back in Mr Musk’s long delayed promise to launch self-driving technology across Tesla’s line-up. For years, Tesla has sold cars with a “full-self driving” package installed, but not fully activated.

Its cars are capable of some automation, such as advanced lane guidance and parking assist. In recent weeks, the company has been testing more advanced self-driving software with a select group of customers.

Tesla said it had corrected the software problem with a remote update on over 99pc of the vehicles impacted and that for most owners no further action was necessary. Tesla shares fell 3.5pc on Tuesday. The electric car company hit a market capitalisation of $1 trillion in October.

04:25 PM

Handing over

That's all from me for today - thanks for following along! My colleague Matthew Field will take the reins from here.

04:13 PM

Apple warns of iPad delays amid chip drought

Apple iPad delay - Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg
Apple iPad delay - Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Apple customers will be forced to wait more than a month for iPads in the run-up to Christmas as it shifts scarce resources to the best-selling iPhone, writes James Titcomb.

iPads ordered today will arrive as late as December 9, Apple’s website said on Tuesday. If sustained, the gap means that shoppers who wait until the Black Friday shopping bonanza at the end of the month may not get their devices before Christmas.

Apple is sacrificing the iPad to have enough processors to maintain production of its latest iPhones, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported.

It said iPad production had been half the level Apple had planned in the past two months.

The tablet and smartphone share certain components such as processors and wireless receivers, allowing the company to speed up production of one by limiting the other.

Apple said last week that component shortages cost it $6bn (£4.4bn) in the past three months, a figure that will increase in the final quarter of the year.

04:00 PM

US sues to block Penguin's takeover of Simon & Schuster

US officials have filed a lawsuit in a bid to block Penguin Random House's takeover of Simon & Schuster, saying the deal would give Penguin too much control over the publishing market.

The Justice Department argues that a merger would eliminate competition between Penguin, which is owned by Bertelsmann and is the largest publisher in the world, and Simon & Schuster, which is owned by ViacomCBS and is the fourth largest player.

In a complaint filed today it said: “The merger would give Penguin Random House outsized influence over who and what is published, and how much authors are paid for their work.”

Bertelsmann agreed to buy Simon & Schuster $2.18bn (£1.6bn) last year, giving the company a much larger role in the US market.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which owns rival HarperCollins, had complained at the time that the tie-up raised “profound” competition issues for the industry.

The government said the deal would give Penguin close to half the market for the acquisition of publishing rights to "anticipated top-selling books", adding that its next largest competitor would be less than half the size.

03:50 PM

Land Securities buys developer U+I for £190m

Landsec - David Parry/PA Wire
Landsec - David Parry/PA Wire

Property group Land Securities has bought rival developer U+I Group for around £190m, marking its first acquisition in two decades.

Landsec, which owns sites including Piccadilly Lights, tabled a 149p-per-share offer, marking a 73pc premium on U+I’s closing price on Friday.

U+I specialises in urban regeneration of brownfield sites, including Mayfield in Manchester city centre and Circus Street in Brighton.

The deal marks efforts by Landsec to move away from its traditional portfolio focused on retail properties and London office projects. Instead, it’s targeting so-called mixed-use developments that include housing.

03:46 PM

Boris Johnson brands green jet fuel targets 'pathetic'

Another update from COP26 now: Boris Johnson has described current global targets on sustainable aviation fuel as "pathetic", adding that the world could do better.

While he admitted the problem was a "tough nut to crack", the Prime Minister said "guilt-free aviation" was possible. He cited a £400m deal between the Government and billionaire Bill Gates to tackle the issue of low-carbon aviation.

He said: "The target at the moment is to get to 10pc sustainable aviation fuel for the whole world by 2030. How pathetic is that? We can do better than that, folks."

03:29 PM

UK leads plan to boost zero-emission steel

Britain is leading a drive alongside the US, India, China and the EU to boost production of near-zero emission steel across the globe by 2030.

The Government said more than 40 world leaders had agreed to a plan to deliver clean and affordable technology by the end of the decade. As well as steel, the pledge also includes power, road transport, hydrogen and agriculture.

The ambition is the latest deal to be agreed at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, following pledges on reducing methane emissions and deforestation.

The steel industry is one of the biggest CO2 emitters in the world, with China producing half of the world's steel.

The UK said signatories had agreed metrics to measure the goal and to set up initiatives for international collaboration to achieve it, but did not give more details.

03:17 PM

Avis gets its meme stock moment amid EV speculation

Avis has emerged as the latest meme stock after a flurry of activity from armchair investors banking on an electric vehicle (EV) revolution pushed the company to new record highs.

Shares in Avis surged 138pc to their highest level ever after the car rental firm said it will play a big role in the increased adoption of electric cars in the US.

Chief executive Joe Ferraro said: “You’ll see us going forward be much more active in electric scenarios as the situation develops over time.”

The sudden jump in share price – which is now 1,000pc above its low point in January this year – meant trading was halted at least five times after markets opened.

The comments came after rival Hertz announced it had ordered 100,000 EVs from Tesla. Avis didn't disclose any EV purchases, but executives hinted they were looking at potential deals.

Avis was one of the most frequently mentioned stocks among retail investors on online forums such as Reddit today.

03:07 PM

Mark Carney misses COP26 event due to Biden's security lockdown

Mark Carney Bank of England - AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
Mark Carney Bank of England - AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali

We've all heard our share of conference horror stories, but it seems even the former governor of the Bank of England isn't immune from the odd mishap.

At lunchtime today Mark Carney was due to be discussing climate finance on the sidelines of the COP26 summit in Glasgow – instead, he was locked inside the main venue.

Carney, who has been advising Boris Johnson on how to harness trillions of dollars to fight climate change, was due to appear with BlackRock chairman Larry Fink at a fireside chat.

But attendees were told he wouldn’t make it to the event as the former Bank of England boss was trapped in the so-called Blue Zone, where delegates negotiate. The area had been shut down by the US Secret Service until President Joe Biden left the venue, Bloomberg reports.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, stepped in at the last minute to fill Mr Carney’s place.

It's the latest logistical difficulty to beset the high-profile climate summit. Attendees have been forced to queue for hours to get into the venue each morning, while Mr Johnson was forced to apologise to an Israeli minister who wasn’t able to access events on Monday because she uses a wheelchair.

02:50 PM

HelloFresh jumps as it lifts meal-kit sales forecasts

Shares in HelloFresh jumped as much as 14pc today after the meal-kit company lifted its forecasts for the full year.

The Berlin-based firm said it expects revenue to rise between 57pc and 62pc in 2021, up from previous guidance of between 45pc and 55pc.

Chief executive Dominik Richter said: “We further expanded our total addressable market by successfully launching HelloFresh in Norway in July and in Italy in October.

“With all of these investments in place, we remain focused on reaching our mid-term revenue target of 10 billion euros.”

The upgrade for HelloFresh, which recently listed on Germany's largest stock exchange, comes despite pressure on costs and significant investments in staff and expansion plans.

But some analysts are sceptical about the prospects for meal-kit firms amid tough competition in Europe's food delivery market.

02:35 PM

Marks & Spencer to roll out opticians service

Marks & Spencer Opticians  - M&S
Marks & Spencer Opticians - M&S

Marks & Spencer is rolling out its opticians service to 55 stores across the country following a successful trial.

The retail has already opened branches in 12 locations including Birmingham, Gateshead and Cardiff, with a further 43 to follow over the next 18 months.

All sites will be operated by opticians and hearing care provider Owl Optical – part of the Scrivens Group – offering M&S branded and third-party branded frames.

M&S said the rollout formed part of its strategy of diversify its offering and giving customers more reasons to shop at the clothing and food retailer.

Sacha Berendji at M&S said:

We know our customers trust us to deliver first-rate specialist services – whether it’s a suit-fit for a big occasion or a bra fit appointment with one of our expert colleagues – and M&S Opticians is just the latest example of this.

Feedback from our trial showed that customers loved the convenience of having an Opticians within our store, and we’re really excited to be introducing the service to more stores across the UK and giving customers even more reasons to shop at M&S.

02:20 PM

Another small energy supplier goes bust

Energy company Omni has gone bust, adding to a long list of small suppliers forced out of business by surging wholesale gas prices.

In a statement on its website, the Leeds-based company said it was ceasing to trade. It added that regulator Ofcom would appoint a new supplier for its customers.

It comes a day after Bluegreen Energy Services collapsed, leaving around 5,900 domestic customers stranded.

More than a dozen suppliers have now gone bust since the start of September as the energy price cap has left them unable to pass higher costs to consumers.

02:05 PM

Ferrari shrugs off chip shortage as supercar output rises

Ferrari deliveries chip shortage - HANDOUT/FERRARI PRESS OFFICE/AFP via Getty Images
Ferrari deliveries chip shortage - HANDOUT/FERRARI PRESS OFFICE/AFP via Getty Images

Ferrari has swerved the chip shortages causing chaos in the wider car industry, reporting a rise in deliveries of its supercars in the third quarter, writes Alan Tovey.

The Italian marque handed over 2,750 cars during the three months, slightly ahead of the previous three months and almost a fifth higher than the same period last year.

Revenue of €1.05bn (£892m) was 18.6pc higher than the previous year. Net profits also accelerated, rising 21pc to €207m, giving a margin 25.7pc.

However, the shares - which have risen about 10pc this year - dipped as the performance came in below analysts’ expectations.

Ferrari’s financial performance is seen as the gold standard among supercar manufacturers, with its high margins and average selling prices setting the benchmark for rivals such as Lamborghini and Aston Martin.

During the three months, the average price of each car was €321,000 , down €7,000 on the previous quarter, as high-priced specials such as the €2m Monza offset sales of cheaper cars.

01:50 PM

Wall Street opens mixed as Tesla rally halted

Wall Street has opened mixed this afternoon as traders were cautious ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting where policymakers are expected to scale back bond purchases.

The S&P 500 dipped a marginal 0.01pc, while the Dow Jones ticked up 0.06pc. The tech-heavy Nasdaq opened 0.08pc lower.

Tesla dropped 1pc at the open having shed as much as 7pc in pre-market trading after Elon Musk tweeted that the company hadn't yet signed a contract with Hertz over the car hire firm's order of 100,000 vehicles.

01:45 PM

More vaccinations can help tame inflation, says IMF chief

Rolling out more Covid vaccinations worldwide could help to ensure inflation proves temporary, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

Kristalina Georgieva said jabs were key to tackling inflation, adding that the growth gap between advanced and emerging economies could also sparked social unrest.

In an interview with Bloomberg she called for a “focus on reducing this divergence: vaccinate the world, vaccinate the world so we can see production everywhere stepping up.”

She added: “If the divergence continues, we are going to see more unrest.”

Ms Georgieva added that supply chain disruptions were likely to extend into mid-2022 or beyond, putting further upward pressure on prices and prompting more action from central banks.

01:34 PM

Leon Black's Apollo toasts record profits

Leon Black, who resigned as Apollo Global's chief executive this year - REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
Leon Black, who resigned as Apollo Global's chief executive this year - REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Apollo Global Management, the Wall Street fund giant co-founded by billionaire Leon Black, is toasting record third quarter profits of $752m (£551m) after going on a selling spree.

The group's distributable earnings - the amount it can return to investors - has surged from $205m just a year ago.

More than half of the profits came from Apollo's private equity arm, which still had $6.3bn of undeployed capital at the end of September, results said.

Apollo has been on a selling spree recently, offloading shares in luxury watch retailer Watches of Switzerland, subprime lender OneMain Holdings and French glass bottle maker Verallia.

However, the firm has been gripped by controversy too after Black stepped down as chief executive and was then accused of rape and sexual harassment by a Russian former model, Guzel Ganieva.

Black denies the allegations, which his lawyers have branded a "work of fiction".

01:11 PM

Standard Chartered falls on "uneven" recovery warning

Standard Chartered shares have plunged today after the bank warned of an "uneven" recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in key markets.

Shares fell by as much as 9.4pc to 457.6p earlier, wiping out gains made in the past month.

The bank is focused on Asia, Africa and the Middle East but said the picture in these regions remains mixed and "punctuated by supply chain disruption". It is predicting flat profits this year.

12:29 PM

Diageo to build $75m whisky distillery in China

Diageo distillery China - Diageo
Diageo distillery China - Diageo

Diageo has unveiled plans to build a $75m (£55m) distillery in China that will produce its first singly malt whisky made in the country.

The drinks giant, which owns Guinness and Johnnie Walker, will build the 66,000 square metre distillery in Eryuan County in Yunnan Province.

It said the location – which is almost 2,100 metres above sea level – had been chosen for its temperate climate, natural biodiversity, and access to natural spring water. Construction is due to begin early in 2022.

Sam Fischer at Diageo said:

China is the world’s largest beverage alcohol market and the demand for whisky is growing rapidly among middle-class consumers who are keen to further discover and enjoy fine whiskies.

Today we celebrate another significant step forward, and one which builds upon our local insights and combines those with Diageo’s global whisky expertise in order to delight the next generation of Chinese whisky consumers.

12:11 PM

US futures slide ahead of Fed meeting

Wall Street is set to open slightly lower this afternoon as investors brace for the Federal Reserve's expected tapering of stimulus measures this week.

Futures tracking the benchmark S&P 500 fell 0.1pc, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 0.2pc. The Dow Jones slipped a marginal 0.02pc.

The Fed is expected to announce a scaling back of its bond-buying programme following a key policy meeting on Wednesday. Major Wall Street banks including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley all slipped in pre-market trading.

Tesla dropped 4pc, falling back from record highs after boss Elon Musk admitted a deal to sell 10,000 vehicles to car rental firm Hertz had not yet been signed.

12:03 PM

IoD: Only a quarter of firms have plan for reducing carbon impact

Only a quarter of business have a well worked-out plan of how they'll reduce their carbon impact, according to a new survey.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) found that just 28pc of organisations measure their carbon footprint, while only 27pc know how they'll reduce it.

In a further sign of low confidence about climate targets, just 16pc of survey respondents said their companies had set a date for achieving net zero emissions.

More than half of businesses said they think the Government should provide advice and guidance on how they can reduce their carbon impact.

Alex Hall-Chen of the IoD said:

As world leaders meet in Glasgow to discuss and agree a global response to the climate emergency, it is clear that businesses closer to home are looking for Government to offer guidance and support to enable them to play their part.

The Government’s recent Net Zero Strategy was a welcome first step, but further action is needed to help businesses to meet decarbonisation goals – too few businesses have concrete plans to measure and reduce their carbon impact.

11:42 AM

Pfizer hikes forecasts for Covid vaccine sales

Pfizer BioNTech vaccine Covid-19 - Pfizer/Handout via REUTERS
Pfizer BioNTech vaccine Covid-19 - Pfizer/Handout via REUTERS

Pfizer has lifted its sales forecasts for Covid-19 its vaccine as it prepares to roll out booster doses before the end of the year.

The US pharmaceutical giant said it now expects full-year revenue of $36bn (£26.4bn) from the jab – up from its previous guidance of $33.5bn.

The company, which makes the jab with Germany partner BioNTech, said it is on track to deliver 2.3bn doses of the vaccine, out of the roughly 3bn it plans to make this year.

The upgrade comes after Pfizer inked deals for booster doses and awaits regulatory clearance to offer its jabs to younger age groups.

Pfizer pulled in $13bn in sales from the vaccine in the third quarter, ahead of analyst forecasts of $11bn.

11:27 AM

Yahoo follows LinkedIn with China exit

Yahoo has said it's quitting China due to the "increasingly challenging" business and legal environment, becoming the latest Western tech firm to do so in recent weeks.

In a statement on its website, Yahoo said it stopped allowing users to access its services from mainland China on Monday.

A spokesperson said: "In recognition of the increasingly challenging business and legal environment in China, Yahoo’s suite of services will no longer be accessible from mainland China as of November 1.

"Yahoo remains committed to the rights of our users and a free and open internet. We thank our users for their support."

It comes after Microsoft pulled LinkedIn from China last month, marking the exit of the last US-owned social media firm still operating in the country.

Beijing has been ramping up its control over internet companies, introducing new laws on a range of issues from content to data privacy.

11:17 AM

Tesla recalls 12,000 vehicles over software error

Tesla Model S recall software error - Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Tesla Model S recall software error - Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Tesla is recalling almost 12,000 vehicles over a self-driving software error that could spark a false collision warning or activate the emergency brakes.

Elon Musk's company said it was pulling the Model S, X, 3 and Y electric vehicles – all sold since 2017 – after receiving reports of the glitches following a software update last month.

Tesla said the faults could falsely alert drivers to potential collisions or activate emergency braking, raising the risk of accidents. However, it said it was not aware of any crashes or injuries related to the issue.

It's the latest setback for Tesla, which saw its record share price run halted earlier on Tuesday after Mr Musk tweeted that his company had not yet signed a contract with Hertz, despite an announcement last week that the car rental firm had ordered 100,000 Model 3 sedans for $4.2bn.

Tesla shares fell as much as 6.9pc in pre-market trading.

11:03 AM

Eurozone manufacturing slumps to eight-month low

Manufacturing output in the eurozone slumped to an eight-month low in October as supply chain troubles disrupted production and dented order books.

The closely-watched IHS Markit PMI dropped to 58.3 last month, down from 58.6 in September. Overall, this marked the slowest improvement in the manufacturing sector since February.

Supply-side issues were the key driver of the decline, with companies battling lower shipping container availability, shortages of raw materials and issues with transportation.

The slowdown was felt most severely in France and Germany, where the respective manufacturing PMIs fell to nine-month lows.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said:

Eurozone manufacturers reported a worsening of the supply chain situation in October, which curbed production growth sharply during the month.

Average delivery times for raw materials lengthened at a rate exceeded only twice in almost a quarter of a century of survey data as companies reported demand once again running ahead of supply for a wide variety of inputs and components. Production constraints at suppliers were reported alongside a growing list of logistical issues.

10:28 AM

BP: Oil demand back over 100m barrels a day

Adding to the bullish tone in this morning's results, BP says global demand for oil has bounced back to pre-Covid levels even despite a greater focus on climate change.

The oil giant said demand had returned to the key level of 100m barrels a day. The rebound has pushed prices to record highs and prompted calls for producer cartel Opec to open the taps.

Chief financial officer Murray Auchincloss said: “Somewhere next year we will above pre-Covid levels. OPEC+ is doing a good job managing the balance, so we remain constructive on oil prices.”

The rebound comes despite the fact the aviation industry is yet to fully recover from the pandemic, highlighting the strong demand for diesel and petrochemicals.

BP has shrugged off concerns about its strategy and shift to renewable sources, despite the backdrop of the COP26 and calls for a break-up of rival Shell.

10:15 AM

Maersk warns shipping chaos will continue into 2022

Shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk has warned a boom in demand that has contributed to chaos at ports around the world will last until at least the first quarter of next year.

The world's biggest shipping line said the global market will grow between 7pc and 9pc – a percentage point higher than its previous forecast.

A surge in demand for goods as economies reopened, coupled with labour shortages and Covid disruptions, has led to huge backlogs at major ports and sparked chaos in global supply chains.

Maersk chief executive Soren Skou told Bloomberg: “The issue is not really a lack of ship capacity. The issue is that the ship capacity is being used up by waiting outside ports, and we need to solve the labor problem in the ports in order for supply chains to be better.”

Firms like Maersk have been major winners from the disruption, with freight rates jumping to record levels as companies battled to secure shipments.

Maersk's underlying profit increased nearly fivefold in the third quarter to $5.9bn (£4.3bn).

09:56 AM

Daily Mail owner closes in on £400m pension deal

Daily Mail and General Trust pensions £400m - Leon Neal/Getty Images
Daily Mail and General Trust pensions £400m - Leon Neal/Getty Images

The owner of the Daily Mail has confirmed it's close to securing a deal with pension trustees that would clear the way for Lord Rothermere to take his company private.

In a statement this morning, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said the deal includes, among other terms, a payment of £400m into the company's three pension schemes.

Securing an agreement is the last obstacle to Rothermere's take-private plans following the successful US listing of Cazoo and the sale of the group's risk management business.

Shares in DMGT rose as much as 4.4pc in morning trading.

09:46 AM

THG in freefall as BlackRock ditches shares

It's been a torrid few months for THG, and there's no sign of the misery letting up.

The retailer is in further decline this morning, falling as much as 8.9pc to a new record low after BlackRock offloaded a chunk of shares at a discount.

BlackRock, which is THG's second-largest shareholder, sold 58m shares at a discount of 10pc to the last closing price. That's equivalent to about half its current stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

THG has seen its shares slump in recent months amid concerns about its valuation and future growth, as well as a string of corporate governance issues.

BlackRock was a cornerstone investor in the company's stock market float in 2020, but shares have now lost a quarter of their value in the year to date.

THG, led by billionaire Matt Moulding, has tried unsuccessfully to calm investor jitters through a string of corporate governance changes and several new board appointments.

09:30 AM

Klarna snaps up price comparison site PriceRunner

Klarna PriceRunner - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg
Klarna PriceRunner - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Swedish payments firm Klarna has snapped up price comparison site PriceRunner as competition continues to heat up in the controversial buy now pay later market.

Klarna said PriceRunner will bring new features such as product reviews and price comparisons to its 90m customers globally, while its retail partners will benefit from more behaviour insight and increased traffic.

It comes a week after Klarna – which is valued at $45.6bn (£33.4bn) – secured a tie-up with Stripe, allowing retailers that use the payments processor to offer payment in instalments via Klarna.

Buy now pay later firms have boomed during the pandemic thanks to a rise in online shopping, but they're also facing greater regulatory scrutiny amid concerns they encourage consumers to get into debt.

David Fock, chief product officer at Klarna, said:

At Klarna we constantly strive to make the banking and payments experience the best it can be, empowering consumers from product discovery to paying in a way that suits them.

The acquisition will serve to strengthen our bank, card and payment services and support a competitive global landscape. It also further cements that Klarna will not be a marketplace but a viable and competitive alternative for retail partners vs Amazon, Google and Facebook.

09:12 AM

Sterling falls as traders weigh up Bank of England meeting

Sterling has dropped to an almost three-week low as investors focus in on the key Bank of England policy meeting later this week.

The pound was down as much as 0.3pc against the dollar to $1.3640 – the lowest level since Oct 13. Against the euro, sterling rose 0.1pc to 85p.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee will be forced to weigh up rising inflation against the UK's economic recovery when it makes a decision on whether or not to increase interest rates on Thursday.

Lee Hardman at MUFG told Bloomberg: “Recent price action continues to highlight that the pound has failed to fully benefit from the recent sharp adjustment higher in UK rates.

“We expect those aggressive rate hike expectations to be left disappointed, posing some modest downside risk for the pound in the week ahead.”

08:59 AM

Waitrose to trial electric vans

Waitrose electric vehicle carbon emissions - Waitrose
Waitrose electric vehicle carbon emissions - Waitrose

Supermarket Waitrose is set to trial new wireless electric vehicles in an effort to speed up time between deliveries while also cutting carbon emissions, reports Rachel Millard.

The company plans to stop using fossil fuels across its fleet by 2030, converting all its cars, vans and light trucks to battery electric models instead.

Charging can be time-consuming and logistically complex, so Waitrose is trialling vans fitted with a charging pad which can top up by parking above an electric plate.

The vans will initially be delivering groceries from the St Katherine's Dock store, London, with more stores expected to be covered soon.

Michael Ayres, managing director of Flexible Power Systems, which is providing the technology, said:

Companies like Waitrose have to electrify their fleets to combat climate change.

At the same time, they have to fulfil customers’ needs as efficiently as possible, and the growth in home delivery seen during the pandemic is here to stay.

This project is about testing technologies that can save time and cost, particularly wireless charging.

08:45 AM

BT inks satellite broadband deal with OneWeb

OneWeb BT broadband satellite - OneWeb
OneWeb BT broadband satellite - OneWeb

BT's busy week of news continues, with the telecoms giant now announcing a major global deal with satellite broadband firm OneWeb.

The deal, which follows an initial agreement reached in July, means BT will use OneWeb's network of low earth orbit satellites to beam internet services across the UK.

It marks BT's efforts to roll out high-speed broadband across the country by 2028, with satellite services helping to deliver connections in the most remote rural areas.

BT said it will launch the first trials with consumers from early next year.

Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT , said:

Space is an emerging and enormous digital opportunity, and this is an important step towards harnessing its potential for BT’s customers across the globe.

We will put OneWeb’s technology through its paces in our UK labs with the goal of delivering live trials in early 2022. Delivered securely and at scale, satellite solutions will be an important part of our plans to expand connectivity throughout the UK and globally, and to further diversify the range of services we can offer our customers.

BT's share price soared yesterday after it confirmed a Sunday Telegraph report that its £1bn modernisation plan was ahead of schedule.

Read more on this story: BT shares rise after costs slashed faster than expected

08:34 AM

FTSE risers and fallers

The FTSE's losses have continued after market open, with the blue-chip index now down 0.5pc at 7,251 points.

Flutter Entertainment is the biggest laggard this morning, dropping 7.8pc after it cut its guidance on unfavourable sports results and a temporary exit from the Dutch market. Standard Chartered isn't far behind, with its cautious third-quarter update sending shares down more than 6pc.

Major miners are also weighing down the index, with Anglo American, BHP and Rio Tinto all losing ground.

The domestically-focused FTSE 250 is faring only slightly better, posting a fall of 0.2pc. Miner Ferrexpo is the biggest faller, down 8.8pc after a downgrade by Credit Suisse.

08:15 AM

Paddy Power owner cuts guidance after sporting losses

Flutter Entertainment Paddy Power Betfair - David Davies/PA Wire
Flutter Entertainment Paddy Power Betfair - David Davies/PA Wire

The owner of gambling brands Paddy Power and Betfair has slashed its outlook for the full year after a string of unfavourable sporting results hit its books.

Flutter Entertainment said it now expects full-year profit between £1.24bn and £1.28bn, down from the range of £1.27bn to £1.37bn previously forecast. It's also below the £1.4bn it pulled in last year.

The company said a string of sporting results favouring gamblers hit profit by about £60m last month. It's also expecting to lose £10m after it was forced to temporarily withdraw from the Dutch market due to a change in regulations.

Flutter said the suspension of operations in the Netherlands is likely to cost it another £40m in 2022. Shares dropped 6.5pc in early trading.

Overall, revenue for the third quarter was up 12pc, with growth in Australia and the US offsetting lower revenue in the UK and Ireland.

Flutter forecasts a full-year loss of between £250m and £275m – at the deeper end of its previous guidance.

08:02 AM

FTSE 100 dips at the open

The FTSE 100 has opened slightly down this morning after making a strong start to November.

The blue-chip index dipped 0.2pc to 7,273 points. It had risen past 7,300 points on Monday for the first time since February 2020.

08:00 AM

Standard Chartered profit rebounds amid 'uneven' recovery

Standard Chartered Covid bad loans -  REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
Standard Chartered Covid bad loans - REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

Standard Chartered has posted a sharp rebound in profits for the third quarter, but held its forecast of flat full-year growth amid an "uneven" pandemic recovery.

The bank has become the latest lender to report improved trading as economies begin to emerge from lockdown. It said pre-tax profit rose 44pc to just over $1bn (£732m) in the three months to the end of September, boosted by improved trading income.

But it still expects profit to be little changed over the full year due to varying levels of recovery in its main markets of Asia, the Middle East and Africa, as well as supply chain troubles. Instead, it forecast a return to growth in 2022.

Standard Chartered was also more cautious than its rivals about recovering money set aside for bad debts. Its loan provisions fell to $107m in the third quarter – much lower than last year but still double what analysts were expecting.

Chief executive Bill Winters said:

We delivered a return to top-line growth in the third quarter and achieved further progress against our strategic priorities, with strong performance in our financial markets and trade businesses and ongoing positive momentum in wealth management.

We continue to transform how we serve our customers in the world's most dynamic markets through innovation, partnerships and new ventures. Last week, we were also pleased to deliver on our sustainability commitment to set out a clear path to achieve net zero by 2050.

07:48 AM

BP: Investors like our story

Shell's results last week were somewhat overshadowed by an attack from activist investor Third Point, which called for a break-up of the business.

Dan Loeb's fund called on the group to split its renewables division from its traditional oil business to help fund the shift to green energy.

BP boss Bernard Looney is shrugging off these threats though. He insists there are no shareholders calling for a break-up of BP, adding: "Investors are increasingly telling us that they like the strategy."

Asked about the threat of institutional investors divesting from fossil fuels, Mr Looney is again unfazed. He says: "Today there are probably more people buying BP shares than selling them. This is not something that concerns me."

Still, BP's results show that while it's pursuing a transition to renewable energy, the vast majority of its profits are still coming from oil, gas and trading.

07:39 AM

BP chief: Global energy demand 'insatiable'

BP's third-quarter results come at a key juncture for oil majors – especially against the backdrop of the COP26 summit.

At the height of the pandemic last year, chief executive Bernard Looney lamented the time of peak oil prices. However, a sharp rebound means he's now changed his tune.

The BP boss said he expects oil and gas prices to return to pre-Covid levels next year, but insists the world still has an "insatiable" desire for energy.

Mr Looney said:

This has been another good quarter for BP - our businesses are generating strong underlying earnings and cash flow while maintaining their focus on safe and reliable operations.

Rising commodity prices certainly helped, but I am most pleased that quarter by quarter, we’re doing what we said we would - delivering significant cash to strengthen our finances, grow distributions to shareholders and invest in our strategic transformation. This is what we mean by performing while transforming.

07:32 AM

BP ramps up payout

Good morning.

BP has stepped up its shareholder payout as it looks to win over investors concerned about the oil giant's shift to renewable energy sources.

The company has announced a further $1.25bn in share buybacks – on top of the $1.4bn programme announced just three months ago.

Much like rivals such as Shell, BP has cashed in on rising commodity prices in recent months, but it's also facing questions over how it manages the shift to greener energy.

BP said it will also use its increased profit to start paying down its debt pile, which stood at $32bn at the end of the third quarter.

5 things to start your day

1) Barclays defends £2.5m payoff for Jes Staley Barclays has defended a £2.5m payout for its chief executive Jes Staley after he abruptly quit following an investigation into his ties with the late paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

2) How many more will be caught in Jeffrey Epstein's web? The convicted sex offender knew many rich, powerful and famous people who have sought to downplay their connections.

3) BT shares rise after slashing costs faster than expected The FTSE 100 firm soared as much as 7pc to 148.5 as it confirmed a Sunday Telegraph report that its £1bn modernisation plan was ahead of schedule.

4) Chip crisis halves Jaguar Land Rover sales JLR sold 14,300 cars in Britain in the third quarter of 2021, down 48pc on a year earlier. Overall sales were down 11pc to £3.9bn.

5) Darktrace shares slide again Shares fell 15pc on Monday in anticipation of insiders like Mike Lynch being freed to sell their holdings. The share price drop means that Darktrace has now lost 28pc of its value since the start of last week.

What happened overnight

Asian markets mostly rose on Tuesday morning: the Hang Seng Index climbed more than 1.5pc, as did Seoul, while there were also advances in Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Manila and Jakarta. Tokyo dipped after soaring more than 2pc on Monday, with Sydney and Wellington also slightly lower.

Coming up today

Corporate: BP (interim results); Standard Chartered, Hiscox, IWG, Flutter, TP Icap (trading update)

Economics: Manufacturing PMIs (EU)