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FTSE 100 surges to record high as Middle East tensions ease



Thanks for joining me. Thames Water plans to spend nearly £20bn fixing leaks and sewage spills under a new business plan sent to regulators.

The beleaguered water supplier, which has £18bn of debt, wants to spend £1.1bn more than previously thought under proposals sent to the regulator Ofwat, known as PR24.

It is battling to avoid a costly nationalisation, which would mean its lenders lose as much as 40pc of their money.

Shareholders last month said they would not give the company a promised £500m lifeline which had been part of a planned £3.75bn funding package designed to see the company through to 2030. 

Chief executive Chris Weston said: “Our business plan focuses on our customers’ priorities.  

“As part of the usual ongoing discussions relating to PR24, we’ve now updated it to deliver more projects that will benefit the environment. We will continue to discuss this with our regulators and stakeholders.”

5 things to start your day 

1) Dover races to prepare for mandatory fingerprint checks | Ferry passengers face higher fares as port launches hiring spree

2) Households face £400 net zero hit from higher interest rates | Heightened borrowing costs will make investment in renewables more expensive

3) Employers plot fightback against Britain’s sick day scourge | Some corporations hire private detectives as absences threaten £66bn economic hit

4) Former Thames Water owner Macquarie mulls sale of KCOM | Australian bank believes broadband provider is well-positioned for wave of consolidation

5) Blacklisted Chinese telecom company investigated by HMRC | Chinese tech company may owe as much as £1.5m to the taxman

What happened overnight 

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are both on six-day losing streaks, falling by 3.05pc and 5.52pc last week after a tech sell-off.

The Nasdaq fell by 2pc on Friday alone, driven by a 10pc plunge in chip-maker Nvidia.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 fell by 1.25pc last week as tensions in the Middle East hit sentiment.

But oil markets have remained calm after Iranian state media downplayed a retaliatory air strike from Israel on Friday. Brent crude prices closed at around $87 per barrel on Friday, down from $90 a week earlier.

Markets in Asia apart from Shanghai’s were broadly higher Monday, shrugging off the blues on Wall Street after big technology stocks logged their worst week since the COVID crash in 2020.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led the region, gaining 1.6pc to 16489.08. But the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.5pc to 3,050.89 after the People’s Bank of China kept its 1-year and 5-year loan prime rates unchanged.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.4pc to 37,219.47 and the yen weakened further. The US. dollar rose to 154.69 yen from 154.59 yen, trading at levels not seen since 1990.

The Kospi in South Korea jumped 0.8pc to 2,613.61.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 surged 1pc to 7,640.30.

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