The FTSE 100 is down 0.3 per cent in afternoon trading. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are The Mission Group, Brave Bison, Pennon Group and Ashtead. Read the Monday 10 June Business Live blog below.

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Co-op Bank launches current account switching deal worth up to £150

Co-op has become the latest bank attempting to reel in new customers by offering a cash bonus.

It has launched a limited time switching bonus worth up to £150 for new customers who move their current account to Co-op.

GSK’S £1.2bn Arexvy vaccine wins FDA approval for younger age range

Pharmaceutical giant GSK has won a key part of the regulatory approval needed to roll out its vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to adults aged 50 to 59.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the go-ahead for expansion of the use of the drug, called Arexvy, which is already allowed for people aged 60 and older.

RSV typically causes cold-like symptoms, and leads to 177,000 hospital admissions and 14,000 deaths a year in the US.

The approval marks a key milestone for GSK, which already dominates the market for drugs that treat RSV, taking a two-thirds market share in the first quarter.

It makes Arexvy the first vaccine endorsed for the under-60s by the FDA, ahead of rivals made by Pfizer and Moderna. The drug hit the market last year.

However, GSK will need to wait to see if the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention signs off on the expanded use when it meets later this month before rolling it out.

Aston Martin to hike pay for thousands of UK workers

Aston Martin will raise annual pay for thousands of workers across the UK after reaching a new long-term agreement following union talks.

The British luxury carmaker will increase pay by 4 per cent to more than 2,500 employees and contractors across its UK manufacturing sites and offices for 2024 and 2025.

SMALL CAP IDEA: Baron Oil looks to strike it big with Chuditch

Baron Oil, to be renamed Sunda Energy later this month, is gathering momentum behind the scenes as Andy Butler continues to put his stamp on the junior energy company that’s preparing to seize an exciting opportunity.

The plan for 2024 could see the company reach a major value catalyst by year’s end.

Look out for these King Charles £5, £10 and £20 note serial numbers

New bank notes featuring King Charles III will enter circulation for the first time from today.

The new polymer notes replace those featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II and are the culmination of an extraordinary feat of design, logistics and planning 10 years in the making.

IP Group shares top FTSE 350 fallers

Top 15 falling FTSE 350 firms 10062024

Just Group shares top FTSE 350 risers

Top 15 rising FTSE 350 firms 10062024

Wood Group finalises first phase of world’s largest CCS in Saudi

John Wood Group has completed the first phase of engineering work on what is expected to be the world’s largest carbon capture and sequestration hub.

The oilfield services business is a major contractor on Aramco’s Accelerated Carbon Capture and Sequestration (ACCS) project near Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

EU swing to the right means cheaper holidays for Brits

The euro fell sharply to its lowest level against the pound for almost two years overnight, hit by political uncertainty following European Parliament elections.

One Euro was worth 84.53 pence at one point after Eurosceptic nationalist parties made the biggest gains in Sunday’s election, and after Emmanuel Macron called a shock legislative election having been trounced in the vote by the far-right.

Water firm Pennon hires Starling Bank’s David Sproul as its next chair

South West Water owner Pennon has hired David Sproul as its next chairman, replacing Gill Rider after the FTSE 250 firm’s annual general meeting next month.

Sproul, who is the current chairman of digital lender Starling Bank and previously served as the global deputy CEO of Deloitte, will join as Rider retires from the board on 24 July.

Brave Bison quits Mission Group takeover efforts

Marketing firm Brave Bison has ended its pursuit of rival Mission Group following the rejection of its latest takeover offer.

The London-based business, which runs the Social Chain agency started by Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett, made an all-share proposal worth £32.3million for the Aim-listed company in late May after its previous £27million bid was turned down.

Vauxhall’s Nick Reilly – a tribute to a car industry legend

Tributes have poured in following the death of legendary UK and global motor industry boss and proud Welshman Nick Reilly, who fought a valiant battle to keep Vauxhall car production in Britain – including foregoing his £160,000 a year salary.

The former senior Vauxhall and General Motors executive famously joined the motor industry after ‘finding himself’ and his chosen path following a prolonged period of hermit-like contemplation during a hippy-like mountain top retreat.

How to keep your pension out of Keir Starmer’s clutches

Pensions will be a key battleground in the run-up to the General Election. Last week’s televised debate certainly made that clear.

Rishi Sunak boldly claimed that the state pension would be taxed for the first time under Labour. He repeatedly warned of the wave of tax shocks coming our way should the party win at the polls.

Aston Martin to hike pay by 4% for 2,500 workers

Aston Martin will raise annual pay by 4 per cent for more than 2,500 employees and contractors across its UK manufacturing sites and offices for 2024 and 2025.

Manufacturing technicians at the London-listed luxury carmaker will also receive a 1.5 per cent rise in 2025, alongside a one hour reduction in the working week, it said.

All eligible employees will also receive a one-off payment of £1,000 due to the continued high cost of living, Aston Martin added.

‘Following lengthy negotiations between Unite the Union and Aston Martin Lagonda, Unite members have voted in large majority to accept the two-year pay deal, a spokesperson for Unite said in the statement.

The pay deal comes as Aston Martin stopped production of old models ahead of a ramp-up of production of fresh models later this year.

Royal Mail’s last chance, says posties’ trade union boss DAVE WARD

Perhaps it seems highly unusual for a trade union leader like me to write a column for the Daily Mail City pages, but these are unusual times.

I lead the Communication Workers Union which represents 110,000 posties.

Market open: FTSE 100 down 0.6%; FTSE 250 off 0.4%

London-listed stocks are trading lower this morning as investors await a slew of key domestic economic data this week, while life insurer Aviva adds to the losses

Investors are bracing for a slew of domestic economic data, including wages and GDP data, set to be released this week.

Analysts, meanwhile, expect the Bank of England to move independently from the Federal Reserve and cut rates, but still moniter data closely.

The British central bank meets in less than two weeks to take a call on borrowing costs.

Among broader markets, a snap legislative election called by French President Emmanuel Macron weighed on overall sentiment in Europe.

Key economic data releases due this week

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor:

‘Domestic issues will… be in focus this week in they UK, with unemployment and GDP readings due. Having recently exited from a brief and shallow recession, unemployment is expected to remain steady at its current level of 4.3%, although wage growth will be in particular focus.

‘Any unexpected strength in this area of the release could undermine the possibility of a rate cut from the Bank of England in August, which the market has currently pencilled in.

‘Nonetheless the UK economy has confounded some of its doubters with a relatively resilient showing this year, and at present the uncertainty caused by an impending election is causing few ripples.

‘The FTSE250 has clawed back earlier losses to stand ahead by 4% so far this year, with some additional momentum coming from a seemingly improving attitude towards the UK in investment terms, with its previous pariah status now in question.’

Chinese firm Hikvision doubles CCTV sales in Britain

A Chinese CCTV firm whose equipment is banned by the Government from ‘sensitive’ sites more than doubled its sales to UK and Ireland customers last year.

Annual results from Hikvision showed direct sales climbed from £14.7m in 2022 to £32.6m in 2023.

Pennon replaces chair

Pennon has named David Sproul as its chair designate succeeding Gill Rider, who retires from the embattled water group’s board following the annual general meeting on 24 July.

The change in the role comes at a time when Britain’s water industry, privatised in 1989, has been criticised and penalised for releasing dirty water into rivers and raising customers’ bills amid a cost-of-living crisis.

Sproul was the global deputy CEO of Deloitte for two years until 2021 and is also the chairman of British digital lender Starling Bank.

He also serves as a non-executive director at asset manager Safanad and is a senior adviser to private investment firm Bridgepoint Europe.

Mission Group suitor quits talks

Mission Group suitor Brave Bison does not intend to make another approach for the digital marketing firm after its board rejected a second all-stock takeover bid worth around £32.3million.

Brave Bison told shareholders it was ‘disappointed by the lack of engagement from the Mission Board’, which ‘rejected’ attempts for ‘constructive dialogue and chose not to provide access to due diligence information or key management personnel’.

The group’s takeover offer included the intention to pay down a portion of Mission’s £26.8million of net debt ‘to create a sustainable capital structure for the enlarged company’.

Brave Bison said does not believe that the Mission board’s strategy to deleverage the business ‘will deliver value for Mission shareholders in excess of the Revised Proposal’.

It added: ‘Brave Bison is a disciplined acquirer and is not willing to advance the Possible Offer without due diligence or access to key management.

‘As such, Brave Bison confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Mission.’

Blow to City as £24bn Ashtead ‘explores switch to Wall Street’

FTSE 100 equipment hire giant Ashtead is reportedly considering a move to the New York stock exchange in a potential fresh blow to the City.

The £24billion group is in the early stages of exploring a switch of its listing from London to Wall Street, according to The Sunday Telegraph. It comes despite boss Brendan Horgan, an American, last year telling a newspaper ‘we remain happy where we are’.

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