Coal Power Stations Fire Up As Wind Fails To Blow

What to do if your energy supplier goes bust

  • City regulator appeals for Bitcoin expertise as terrorists exploit cryptocurrencies

  • FTSE 100 rises 0.6pc; Pound hits fresh highs against the euro

  • Wall Street rises after Fed chair decision

  • Roger Bootle: 

    Britain is doomed to either an inflation trap or a squeeze on incomes​

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  • Hourly power prices are set to surge on Tuesday evening as low wind levels mean more expensive coal-powered plants will need to be fired up.

    Power for the peak hour between 5pm and 6pm rose to £1,067 a megawatt-hour during the day-ahead auction for Tuesday.

    It’s the third time prices have jumped above £1,000 this month, with the latest peak seen last Monday.

    With wind power accounting for just 10pc of demand for the peak hour, output will need to be ramped up at more expensive thermal goal and gas power stations.

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    05:37 PM

    Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman to buy Athenahealth for $17bn 

    Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman have agreed to buy Athenahealth in a $17bn (£12.6bn) deal.  

    The private equity firms will take control of the health information technology group from competitors Veritas Capital and Elliott Investment Management, who bought it for a third of the price in 2018. 

    Athenahealth provides an electronic health records service to keep track of patient visits and tests, while it also helps doctors and hospitals collect money from health insurers and the government.

    The coronavirus pandemic has sped up the need for better IT systems in the healthcare sector. Hospitals and doctor surgeries have been prompted to turn their operations digital as well as improving efficiency to help make up for lost revenue.

    On the business side of things, buyers are rushing to complete acquisitions while debt still looks cheap before central banks raise interest rates.

    05:15 PM

    OPEC+ to review production plans in response to reserve releases 

    OPEC+ members may review plans to raise production next month, as the world’s four largest consuming countries are considering whether to release their strategic petroleum reserves.

    India, the US, Japan and China may take this step to counteract the inflation threat arising from higher energy costs, Bloomberg reported.

    However, it could also pit them against the OPEC+ coalition, which is led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, in controlling the global oil markets.

    “I anticipate OPEC+ energy ministers will maintain their current plan of adding more supplies to the market gradually,” said

    Joseph McMonigle, secretary-general of the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum. 

    “However, certain unforeseen external factors such as a release of strategic reserves or new lockdowns in Europe may prompt a reassessment of market conditions.”

    Brent crude was changing hands at $79.30 in mid-afternoon.

    04:55 PM

    FTSE 100 closes higher 

    The FTSE 100 ended the trading day in the green, adding 31 points to 7,255.

    Royal Mail was a strong riser in the index, up 3.5pc, as the market has high expectations from this week’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions leading to the key Christmas period.

    Vodafone and BT advanced 3pc and 2pc respectively. The sector got a boost by US private equity giant KKR offering €10.8bn (£9bn) for Italy's former monopoly Telecom Italia.

    Polymetal, instead, topped the fallers with a 4pc slide due to a drop in gold prices caused by Powell’s nomination for a second term as Fed chairman. "This continuity is important in that it keeps the prospect of an accelerated Fed taper very much on the table, thus pushing short term rates higher as well as a stronger US dollar," commented 

    Michael Hewson  at CMC Markets.

    04:25 PM

    Handing over

    That's all from me today - thanks for following along! My colleague 

    Giulia Bottaro will take the reins from here.

    04:23 PM

    Expert reaction: FTSE 100 set for 'relatively quiet year'

    Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, gives his view on the potential FTSE movements.

    Next Tuesday’s indicative review of the FTSE indices could well show that Electrocomponents and Dechra Pharmaceuticals are both poised to enter the FTSE 100 for the first time and they look likely to do so at the expense of Johnson Matthey and Darktrace.

    Nothing it set in stone, since the final review of market valuations will be released on 1 December and any changes will become effective on 20 December. But Electrocomponents and Dechra are currently ranked 87th and 88th by market cap, enough for automatic promotion, while Johnson Matthey and Darktrace rank 114th and 127th, positions that leave them in line for automatic relegation.

    If these two changes come to pass, that would take the total to nine for 2021. That would make for a relatively quiet year. Since 2000, only 2004, 2010, 2012 and 2015 have seen a lower number – seven, on all four occasions – and the average of the past 21 years is between 12 and 13 changes a year.

    04:20 PM

    FTSE 100 reshuffle: Who will be the movers and shakers? 

    With the next FTSE 100 reshuffle looming, here’s a look at the potential movers and shakers in London’s main indices.

    Promotions: Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Electrocomponents

    Vet specialist

    Dechra has cashed in on the lockdown pet boom and is trading close to an all-time high – it's now on the brink of promotion to the FTSE 100 for the very first time.

    Meanwhile,

    Electrocomponents has seen its shares jump 40pc in the year to date to a new record high, and rebounding demand for its electrical equipment as the economy reopens puts it on track for a potential promotion.

    Relegations: Darktrace, Johnson Matthey

    Darktrace may only have entered the blue-chip index in October, but a recent slump in its share price amid growth concerns means it's now at risk of demotion.


    Video: Coal-fired power plants forced to close in India (Sky News)

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