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Ftse Hits Three-month Low As Flat Uk Sales Hurt Tesco

The London Stock Exchange building is seen in central London September 24, 2009. Credit: Reuters/Stephen Hird By Toni Vorobyova LONDON | Wed Oct 2, 2013 12:12pm BST LONDON (Reuters) – The FTSE 100 slipped to a three-month low on Wednesday, with retailer Tesco falling most sharply after a weak trading update and with broader sentiment weighed down by concerns over a continued U.S. government shutdown. Tesco, Britain’s biggest grocer, fell 3.7 percent to top the FTSE 100’s decliners’ list after reporting flat quarterly sales in its home market, as 1 billion pounds ($1.62 billion) of investment failed to help. “That’s the issue that all the consumer-facing companies are facing – inflation is X percent, wage growth is X minus 1 or 2 percent and on that basis it’s not surprising that consumers will continue to struggle,” said Tim Ress, UK fund manager at Insight Investment, who prefers financial stocks over retail. The FTSE’s decline was fairly broad though, with only around one in 10 blue-chips in the black, as investors fretted about a continued partial shutdown of the U.S. government and the politicians’ ability to reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling this month in order to avoid a sovereign default. “The debt ceiling is more of a problem (than the shutdown) because if they don’t reach an agreement to increase the debt ceiling that will be damaging not only for the U.S. economy but also for recovery globally,” said Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities. The British blue-chip index – whose companies make nearly a quarter of their sales in the United States – fell as far as to 6,386.18 points, its lowest level since July. By 1039 GMT, it had recovered a little to trade down 54.48 points – or 0.8 percent – at 6,405.53, hovering around a key technical support offered by the 200-day moving average. The FTSE 100 has lagged its European peers over the past three months, gaining only around 6 percent from a late June trough compared to a rally of nearly 17 percent on the EuroSTOXX 50. Analysts blame the lag on the relatively defensive nature of the British benchmark – which limits its sensitivity to economic upswings – and to the international focus of its blue chips, which means it is more likely to fall on weak Chinese data than rally on strong UK numbers. On Wednesday, though, the euro zone stocks benefited more than their British peers from signs of improvement in the political situation in Italy, where Prime Minister Enrico Letta appeared on course to win a confidence vote.

SKYCIG, a Leading UK Electronic Cigarette Brand, Announces Acquisition by Lorillard

“We chose to move forward with Lorillard for the exceptional resources and expertise which the company can provide to enable SKYCIG to further both our product innovation and availability. This acquisition will allow us to continue to progress as both the best and the most widely available e-cigarette brand in the UK.” It has been agreed that SKYCIG will function independently as a separate brand under Lorillard’s ownership, with current operations continuing as normal for staff, retailers and customers. SKYCIG’s current premises in Great Britain will be retained, and further investment in the UK e-cigarette market is expected as the SKYCIG brand continues to grow. FF&P Advisory advised SKYCIG on the transaction with Mark Winkler as Lead Adviser. About SKYCIG SKYCIG has been the most trusted electronic cigarette brand within the United Kingdom for a number of years. It has established a large market share in the growing industry and has been voted ‘Best Electronic Cigarette in the UK’ for two years running in 2011 and 2012 by Smoking.com. Electronic cigarettes are regarded as the nation’s top smoking alternative and SKYCIG are currently the largest UK based brand, with plans to expand further into other EU e-cigarette markets. Electronic cigarettes have the potential to play an important role in the harm reduction dialogue. As well as SKYCIG providing an attractive alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, they also offer a variety of different flavours to accommodate everyone’s taste buds from Crown Vanilla, Crown Cherry, Crown Menthol, Cinnamon, Tobacco Gold, Crown Tobacco and Classic Tobacco. About Lorillard, Inc. Lorillard, Inc. ( LO ), through its Lorillard Tobacco Company subsidiary, is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the United States. Founded in 1760, Lorillard is the oldest continuously operating tobacco company in the U.S.

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