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AstraZeneca upbeat on Imfinzi trial, IntegraFin reports 'robust' first half

By Josh White

Date: Friday 26 May 2023

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open 19 points higher on Friday, having closed down 0.74% on Thursday at 7,570.87.
Stocks to watch

AstraZeneca said results from a Phase III trial showed its Imfinzi treatment in combination with chemotherapy showed a significant improvement in patients with endometrial cancer. The pharmaceutical company said the drug, followed by either Imfinzi plus its Lynparza drug or Imfinzi alone as maintenance therapy showed a "statistically significant and clinically meaningful" improvement in progression-free survival compared to chemotherapy alone in patients with newly diagnosed advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

IntegraFin reported robust net inflows of £1.6bn to its Transact platform in its half-year report on Friday, as well as a 4% increase in client numbers, and total group revenue of £66.5m. Despite adverse market movements, the company maintained resilient underlying profits and declared a first interim dividend of 3.2 pence per share. It also provided an update on its digitisation programme and recruitment efforts, and left its cost guidance unchanged.

Newspaper round-up

The founders of fast fashion retailer doubled their pay to about £1m each last year as they were handed hefty bonuses despite missing financial targets. Directors decided that both Carol Kane and Mahmud Kamani deserved bonuses equivalent to their annual basic salary - instead of the 30% they had been due to receive after missing sales and underlying profit targets. - Guardian

Asda is finalising a deal to buy its sister business EG Group's UK and Irish petrol forecourts in a deal worth £3bn, allowing the supermarket to step up its shift into convenience retailing. The businesses are expected to formally announce a long-awaited tie-up in the next few days, which will create a combined business worth about £10bn. - Guardian

Asos, the struggling online retailer, is raising £75 million in cash from shareholders and has refinanced in an effort to strengthen its balance sheet. The fundraising announced last night is fully underwritten by three shareholders, including the investment vehicle of Bestseller, owned by Anders Povlsen, the Danish businessman. - The Times

One of the world's biggest drugs companies has suspended a potential investment in Britain because of the country's "stifling commercial environment". Eli Lilly, the American multinational, had been looking to invest in laboratory space, but it has put its plans for London on hold because, it said, the UK "does not invite inward investment at this time". - The Times

Twitter's head of engineering has announced his departure from the social media platform, having decided to resign on the day of Ron DeSantis' car-crash presidential launch alongside Elon Musk. Foad Dabiri announced on Twitter that he decided on Wednesday to "leave the nest" nearly four years after he joined the company in 2019. Mr Dabiri described his role on LinkedIn as "engineering lead for Twitter's growth organisation". - Telegraph

US close

Wall Street's main stock gauges closed in a mixed state on Thursday, with the Dow Jones suffering its fifth consecutive loss while the tech-centric Nasdaq Composite witnessed its biggest surge in three weeks.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.11% to close at 32,764.65, while the S&P 500 rose 0.88% to end the day at 4,151.28.

Outperforming its peers, the Nasdaq Composite posted a 1.71% increase to settle at 12,698.09.

While there was some cause for celebration in a positive revision to GDP data, the lack of concrete progress in negotiations between congressional Republicans and the White House over the looming debt ceiling deadline cast a shadow over optimism.

On the currency market, the dollar was last up 0.33% on sterling to trade at 81.13p, while it increased 0.27% to 93.27 euro cents.


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