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On Wednesday, the FTSE 100 in the UK increased as the pound weakened following the release of data indicating a contraction in the UK economy in October, this increases the possibility of a recession and challenges the Bank of England’s resistance to indicating interest rate cuts. Meanwhile, the market is anticipating the rate decision from the Federal Reserve later today. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index saw a 0.4% gain.B&M, the UK’s leading discount retailer, has experienced a decrease in its stock price by 5.4% to 568p, making it the biggest percentage loser on the FTSE 100 index. This decline comes as SSA Investments sells approximately 2.8% of B&M’s issued ordinary share capital through a discounted placing of shares, with a discount of nearly 3%. The placing involves the sale of around 27.8 million shares at a price of 582.5p per share, compared to the previous closing price of 600.4p. As a result, the gross proceeds from this placing amount to £162.1 million ($203.08 million). Despite this recent development, B&M’s shares have still risen by approximately 45% year-to-date, taking into account fluctuations in the market.On the positive side of the ledgerEntain, a sports betting company listed on the London Stock Exchange has become the top gainer on the FTSE 100 index following the resignation of its CEO, Jette Nygaard-Andersen. The company’s shares have risen by 5.1% to 848p. Stella David, a current non-executive director, has been appointed as the interim CEO. Entain’s stock has experienced a decline of 39% year-to-date. In hot pursuit for the top spot on the blue chip index is AstraZeneca +2.7% having announced its plans to acquire Icosavax, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in the US. The acquisition aims to accelerate AstraZeneca’s efforts in delivering a range of protective interventions for infectious diseases, particularly in the field of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prevention. Icosavax is known for its innovative protein virus-like particle (VLP) platform, which has shown promising results in Phase II trials for a combination vaccine targeting RSV and human metapneumovirus (hMPV).
FTSE Bias: Bullish Above Bearish below 7480