FTSE Continues Its Soft Start To 2024

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On Tuesday, the FTSE 100 in the UK continued its decline, sliding over 0.5% paring early gains, the reversal came in the wake of concerns regarding UK consumers and retailers. Retailers ended 2023 with a modest increase in demand in the week leading up to Christmas, but overall industry data showed a decrease in total sales compared to the previous year. UK total sales only increased by 1.7% in the five weeks to 30 December, below the three-month and 12-month averages. December is a crucial month for retailers as consumers spend on homewares, presents, and festive food.On the positive side of the ledger Hikma Pharma sits at the top of the blue chip index gaining over 1.6% after announcing an agreement to collaborate on the promotion of Guardant Health’s range of liquid and tissue biopsy tests for cancer screening, recurrence monitoring, and tumour mutation profiling for all solid cancers in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Hot on the heels of Hikma is another pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline GSK gaining over 1.5% after revealing its acquisition of Aiolos, a biopharmaceutical company in the clinical stage that specialises in treating respiratory and inflammatory conditions, for a potential amount of $1.4 billion.On the negative side of the negative side of the ledger Beazley sits at the bottom of the table shedding over 4% this comes in the wake of London Bridge 2 PCC Limited and its predecessor, together forming the Lloyd’s insurance-linked securities (ILS) platform, reaching a milestone of $750 million in ILS securities issuance to investors with the completion of Beazley’s first natural catastrophe bond, the $100 million Fuchsia 2023-1 transaction. Beazley, a London-based specialty insurance and reinsurance underwriter, successfully secured $100 million in natural catastrophe reinsurance through its first Rule 144A property catastrophe bond.More By This Author:Daily Market Outlook – Tuesday, Jan. 9
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