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Monday newspaper round-up: Drax, gas prices, NatWest, Ovo

(Sharecast News) - The number of people visiting UK shops this Christmas could remain almost a fifth below pre-pandemic levels as shoppers struggle with the cost of living crisis, according to forecasts. Retail footfall in December is expected to be 18% lower than the same month in 2019, said Springboard, a retail data company. - Guardian The UK government has been accused of funding environmental racism by giving £2m a day in subsidies to an energy company that has paid out millions over claims it breached pollution limits in the US south. An investigation by Unearthed, Greenpeace's investigative unit, found Drax Biomass paid millions of dollars to US regulators over claims it exceeded limits on chemicals emissions at wood chip plants close to black and low-income communities. - Guardian

Britain's energy bills freeze could prove much less costly than feared by early next year, as City forecasters predict that gas prices will plunge this winter following a successful scramble across Europe to fill reserves. A halving in gas prices in the coming months would push average household bills below the £2,500 limit set by the Government's Energy Price Guarantee, slashing the cost of the intervention, according to estimates by Deutsche Bank. - Telegraph

NatWest has told its male bankers that they can take a full year off when they become a father, as it races to reinvent itself as more family friendly. The bank will next year introduce a policy that allows all new parents to take up to a year off regardless of their gender, of which half will be fully paid. Equal paid parental leave is increasingly common, but NatWest is unusual in offering fathers a full year off. - Telegraph

Ovo has been forced to give assurances that recent government interventions have shored up its finances after newly published accounts included a warning that its future could be in doubt. The owner of Britain's third biggest household energy supplier, which has 4.5 million customers, said in accounts for 2021 published at the weekend that there was "a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the group's and company's ability to continue as a going concern". - The Times

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Thursday newspaper round-up: Border controls, McKinsey, KPMG
(Sharecast News) - New post-Brexit UK border controls coming into force later this month will cost British businesses £2bn and fuel higher inflation, according to a report warning that UK-EU trade will be damaged as a result. With less than a month before the introduction of new checks on animal and plant products from 30 April, the insurer Allianz Trade said the controls agreed under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could add 10% to import costs over the first year. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Shoplifting, EnQuest, Klarna
(Sharecast News) - The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems - including vans that will scan crowded high streets - as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker. - Guardian
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Pharma companies, Puig, Thames Water
(Sharecast News) - Rachel Reeves has said an incoming Labour government would launch a £5bn crackdown on tax avoiders to close a gap in its spending plans exposed by Jeremy Hunt scrapping the non-dom regime to finance tax cuts. Warning households and businesses that Labour was prepared to adopt tough measures to tackle tax fraud and non-compliance, Reeves said the funding would be used to pay for free school breakfast clubs and additional NHS appointments. - Guardian
Monday newspaper round-up: Boeing, rent rises, e-scooters, Santander UK
(Sharecast News) - US airline regulators have launched an investigation after an engine cowling on a Boeing plane fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap. The Southwest Airlines flight 3695 rose to about 10,300ft (3,140 metres) before returning safely 25 minutes after takeoff to Denver international airport at about 8.15am local time on Sunday. It was towed to the gate after landing. The Boeing aircraft with 135 passengers and six crew members aboard had been headed to Houston. No one was injured. - Guardian

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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