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FTSE 100 Live: NatWest retail offer mulled; inflation to hit target in 2025

Published 22/11/2023, 13:09
Updated 22/11/2023, 13:10
© Reuters.  FTSE 100 Live: NatWest retail offer mulled; inflation to hit target in 2025

Proactive Investors -

  • FTSE 100 down 13 points at 7,468
  • Sage soars after buyback
  • Kingfisher (LON:KGF) hit by weak trading

NatWest drops on plans for retail share offer

Shares in NatWest (LON:NWG) have dropped as the Chancellor said that the government will explore a retail share offering for NatWest.

Shares in the UK bank, in which the government still owns a 39% stake, are down 1.2%, with a clear downward spike oin the statement.

But the duty freeze has supported Diageo (LON:DGE), up 1.1%

OBR rejigs growth forecasts

The OBR’s forecast for UK economic growth this year is a little brighter than previously forecast.

GDP is set to actually grow this year -- by just 0.6% but still better than the previously expected 0.2% contraction.

Next year will likely be weaker than thought, however, at 0.7% growth versus the 1.8% prior forecast. 2025 has also been downgraded.

Other subjects covered by the chancellor include exploring options for selling off the government’s remaining shares in NatWest - sending shares down - and changes to to the rules for pension funds.

He says he will give workers the right to require new employers to pay pension money into an existing pension pot.

Chancellor sees inflation hitting 2% target in 2025

The Chancellor has trumpeted the drop in inflation and said he expects inflation to fall to 2.8% by the end of 2024, and hit the 2% target in 2025.

He has also outlined proposals to help with the cost of living - benefit payments will rise by 6.7% linked to September's inflation figure, all alchohol duties will be frozen until August 1, 2024, while the state pension will increase by 8.5%.

Hunt says debt has been due to rise to almost 100% of GDP but is now it is predicted to be 94% of GDP by the end of the forecast.

Chancellor says the plan is working but the work is not done

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has kicked off his Autumn Statement.

He said he has taken "difficult decisions to put the economy back on track," adding the plan "is working but the work is not done."

He pledged to reduce debt, cut tax and reward work alongside 110 growth measures for business.

Stocks ease ahead of Chancellor's speech

The Chancellor will make his statement shortly, we are just running through PMQs for now.

Proactive's Josh Lamb will have all the key details on a live blog here, while the main announcements will be covered here too, plus reaction.

Ahead of the statement, the FTSE is down 15 points and the pound is at $1.2544.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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