Prudential Shares at £10 Amid Weak Start for FTSE 100, Plus500 Jumps 5%

Prudential Shares at £10 Amid Weak Start for FTSE 100, Plus500 Jumps 5%

The FTSE 100 index experienced a decline of 18.48 points, settling at 7505.68.

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This decrease was primarily led by mining companies Rio Tinto and Anglo American, which both saw drops of over 1% in their value.

Selling pressure emerged for Standard Chartered, an Asia-focused lender, due to concerns regarding China’s property sector.

As a result, the company’s shares declined by 8.6p to 746.6p.

Additionally, Burberry lost 20p, trading at 2232p.

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Prudential faced a decrease of 1%, leading to its shares trading at £10 for the first time since November. This decline amounted to 8.5p.

Among the positive performers, B&M European Value Retail experienced a rise of 8.8p, reaching 546.6p.

This increase was attributed to Deutsche Bank raising its target price to 680p.

In the FTSE 250 index, there was a decline of 25.32 points, bringing it to 18,774.38. However, trading app Plus500 saw a 5% increase in its value, equivalent to 75p, reaching 1506p.

This growth was driven by the announcement of a new share buyback in conjunction with the release of half-year results.

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CMC Markets also experienced a rise of 4.8p, reaching 133.4p.

YouGov Considers US Listing

YouGov, a market research company traded on AIM, is contemplating a potential listing on a US stock market.

The co-founder of YouGov, Stephan Shakespeare, informed the Financial Times about these deliberations.

This consideration follows YouGov’s recent acquisition of the Germany-based GfK consumer panel business, a transformative move for the company.

YouGov is exploring the possibility of either shifting its primary listing to the United States or establishing a secondary listing in the US market.

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The company, with a market value of £1 billion, has seen significant developments under Shakespeare’s leadership.

Plus500 Profits Plunge, but Firm Launches Another $60m Buyback

Despite a 44% drop in profits for trading app Plus500, the company initiated a new buyback, returning an additional $60 million to shareholders.

The first half of the year saw a decline in revenue to $368.5 million, down by 28%.

This decline was influenced by a reduction in customer numbers following a period of near-record highs last year.

Despite the profit decrease being anticipated, Plus500 managed to execute a buyback of $60 million in shares.

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CEO David Zruia emphasized the company’s diversified revenue streams, expanded product offerings, strong customer relationships, and growth potential in its markets, all contributing to growth and attractive shareholder returns.

This buyback brings the total returned to shareholders this year by Plus500 to nearly $350 million, reflecting the company’s confidence in its prospects and strong financial position.

Inflation Set for Big Fall, Earnings Figures Also Due This Week

The upcoming week holds significant economic events for the UK, including the release of the July inflation reading, wage growth updates, and unemployment rate figures.

The headline inflation rate is projected to experience a substantial decline from 7.9% to 6.8%, marking the lowest figure since February 2022. Despite this decrease, it remains the highest among G7 countries.

Core prices are expected to remain relatively stable at 6.8%, compared to 6.9% in June.

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In the labor market, Bank of America predicts a potential 0.5% increase in average weekly earnings, reaching 7.4% year-on-year, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 4%.

These releases will play a pivotal role in shaping the Bank of England’s upcoming policy decisions in September, as well as influencing the current downward trend in mortgage rates.

Country Garden Shares Down 17%, FTSE 100 Seen Lower

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index faced a decline of over 2%, with leading property firm Country Garden experiencing a 17% drop, reaching a record low share price of $0.81.

This decline follows the suspension of trading for 11 onshore bonds by Country Garden, a debt-laden company.

The company had previously warned of a potential loss of up to £6 billion for the first half of the year.

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Concerns about potential defaults in the property sector and broader economic weaknesses in China have led to a wave of selling across regional stock markets.

The Shanghai Composite index dropped more than 0.5%, while Tokyo’s Nasdaq 225 index fell over 1%.

This sentiment contributes to a challenging session for European markets, following a 1.2% decrease in the FTSE 100 index on the previous Friday.

CMC Markets anticipates that the FTSE 100 index will open 16 points lower at 7508 during the current session.

SoftBank in Talks to Buy Vision Fund’s 25% Stake in Arm:

Japanese investment bank SoftBank is reportedly engaging in discussions to acquire the remaining 25% stake in British chip designer Arm, a move that precedes a planned IPO.

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This information comes from reports by Reuters news agency.

SoftBank currently holds a 75% stake in Arm, with the remaining share owned by investors in its Vision Fund.

This sale is expected to generate significant gains for major investors of the Vision Fund, including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala.

SoftBank’s plan to list Arm, Britain’s most valuable tech business, on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the coming month is anticipated to yield a valuation of up to $70 billion.

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