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Investment Market Update - 17 January 2022

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

Good morning and welcome to another day/week of market updates.

Markets in the UK are surging and the FT100 is up close to 7600 at 7592 levels.

In business news

The average cost of a basic funeral has dropped for the first time in 18 years, but is predicted to rise again in the future, a report has found. Funeral costs fell 3.1% to an average of £4,056 last year, the Cost of Dying report by insurer SunLife found. Costs are varied across the UK, and the cheapest type of ceremony - a cremation without a service - rose in price. Last year, funeral firms were ordered to display clearer price lists for bereaved customers. At a time when prices in general have been rising at their fastest rate for years, some families have found the cost of funerals difficult to cover.

China has unexpectedly cut a key interest rate for the first time in almost two years as official figures showed its economic growth had slowed. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4% for the last three months of 2021 from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That was better than most economists had predicted but was a lot slower than the previous quarter. In another sign of weakness retail sales growth for December fell to 1.7%. For the year as a whole, official data showed that China's economy grew by 8.1%, which beat economists' forecasts and came in well above Beijing's annual target of "over 6%." However, some economists highlighted that the growth data, which was the slowest in a year and a half, has yet to take into account the effect of the latest coronavirus outbreaks.

Please try and all sign the petition to try and save one of the largest companies locally who could go under which will be devastating for so many people and businesses locally.

I know many of you are very concerned about what is happening. The pandemic has made the world's wealthiest far richer but has led to more people living in poverty, according to the charity Oxfam.

Lower incomes for the world's poorest contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day, its report claims. But the world's 10 richest men have more than doubled their collective fortunes since March 2020, Oxfam said. Oxfam typically releases a report on global inequality at the start of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. That event usually sees thousands of corporate and political leaders, celebrities, campaigners, economists and journalists gather in the Swiss ski resort for panel discussions, drinks parties and schmoozing. However for the second year running, the meeting (scheduled for this week) will be online-only after the emergence of the Omicron variant derailed plans to return to an in-person event. GlaxoSmithKline has rejected three Unilever offers to buy its consumer goods division, including one worth £50bn. GSK said the proposals "fundamentally failed" to reflect the value of the division. With a successful bid, Unilever - which owns Marmite, Dove and PG Tips - would add Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol to its list of household brands. Such a deal would be one of the biggest ever involving London-listed firms. GSK said in a statement the most recent proposal from Unilever on 20 December contained an offer for £41.7bn in cash and £8.3bn in Unilever shares. The global healthcare company, which has its headquarters in London, has already been preparing to separate its consumer goods division from its pharmaceutical business in the middle of this year. The firm has come under pressure from investors for failing to develop a Covid vaccine. Unilever said in a statement the GSK consumer arm "would be a strong strategic fit as Unilever continues to reshape its portfolio". The consumer goods giant, which became a fully British company in 2020 after previously being separated between the UK and the Netherlands, also approached Pfizer about the potential deal, since the American pharmaceutical giant owns a 34% stake in GSK's consumer goods business

Have a great week!!!!!

Best Regards S Dhanda

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