21 May 2021
The FTSE 100 rose 1% to 7,019.79 on Thursday (20 May) as investors were heartened by an improving economic picture in Europe and the US.
Trainline plc (TRN) shares crashed 23.2% on Thursday (20 May) after the Government unveiled plans to create a rival state-run ticketing app.
As part of a wider shake-up of the rail sector, the Government said Great British Railways (GBR), a new public rail operator, will provide a “one-stop shop” for rail services. The body will also set timetables and manage rail infrastructure.
At the moment, most train users buy their tickets from aggregator firms such as Trainline plc (TRN), at stations or from the relevant train franchise.
However, under the new plans GBR will sell tickets directly to travellers via its website and app, putting it in direct competition with third-party firms.
Analysts said the move will force companies such as Trainline plc (TRN) to rethink their business models.
The move is part of what has been dubbed the biggest reform of the UK’s railway system in decades.
In a statement released on Thursday, Trainline plc (TRN) said: “[We believe] the [Government’s] proposals will provide Trainline with new opportunities to innovate for the benefit of customers and further grow its business.”
Surging oil prices, household energy bills and clothing costs caused inflation to soar in April, according to official figures published this week.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows price inflation doubled from 0.7% in March to 1.5% in April – the largest monthly increase since the start of the pandemic.
Experts had expected prices to increase once the Government loosed some of its coronavirus restrictions, but the pace of the increase has taken many by surprise.
High inflation is a bad thing for the economy and individuals because it reduces the value of household savings and earnings, and therefore lowers the capacity for people to spend.
However, while inflation rose sharply in April, at 1.5% it is still running well below the Bank of England’s target of 2%.
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26 May – Marks and Spencer Group plc (MKS) shook up its board earlier this week, promising it would “restore growth” after “fixing the basics”. Of course, that won’t happen overnight and therefore shareholders should not expect forecast-busting numbers when the retailer publishes its full-year results on Wednesday (26 May).
27 May – Pets at Home Group plc (PETS) has benefitted from the boom in pet ownership during lockdown. In February, it increased its full-year underlying pre-tax profit guidance from £77m to £85m following a period of strong trading. It releases its full-year results on Thursday (27 May).