BUSINESS CLOSE: Chinese economy under pressure as factory growth slows; UK business confidence hits four-year high
- FTSE 100 ends day down 0.4% to 7,119; FTSE 250 up 0.2% to 24,102
- Chinese factory activity slows due to dwindling export demand
- Concerns over staff shortages, but UK business optimism hits four-year high
- Actuarial firm LCP warns of future divi payments amid new pension rules
- Ofgem launches new £450m fund to help companies go green
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The FTSE 100 ended in the red on the last day of August, with the index losing 28 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,119. But the UK-focused FTSE 250 rose 42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,102.
Chinese businesses and the economy in general came under increasing pressure in August as manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace while the services sector contracted
Business confidence across the UK has reached a four-year high, driven by rising optimism about the recovery after Covid, but some companies have expressed concern about staff shortages.
Vaccine rollouts, the removal of lockdown restrictions and changes to self-isolation rules have all contributed to increased optimism among businesses this month, according to Lloyds Bank’s latest snapshot.
Elsewhere, new rules could force blue-chip companies to allocate reserve funds to retirement plans rather than increase dividend payments after the pandemic.
In an interview with The Times, the LCP actuarial department warned that companies should not underestimate the importance of the new 2021 Pension Act.
And the regulator of energy company Ofgem has today launched a £450 million fund focused on projects that will help the country meet its net zero climate targets.
Ofgem will make the money available to energy grid companies that are trying to make homes and businesses greener.