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SSE undecided on spinning off renewables, AstraZeneca upbeat on Enhertu results

By Josh White

Date: Monday 20 Sep 2021

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open 55 points lower on Monday, having closed down 0.91% at 6,963.64 on Friday.
Stocks to watch

UK energy group SSE said it had made no decision on whether to split off its renewables business after reports that activist hedge fund Elliott Management was pressuring for a breakup of the firm. SSE on Monday said it would provide an update on plans to "further accelerate growth" with its interim results in November. US-based Elliott has built a stake in the London-listed power provider, which has reorganised its portfolio in recent years to focus on low-carbon businesses such as electricity networks and renewables.

AstraZeneca said on Monday that detailed positive results from the head-to-head 'DESTINY-Breast03' phase 3 trial showed that Enhertu, or trastuzumab deruxtecan, demonstrated superior progression-free survival compared to trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1). The FTSE 100 pharmaceutical giant said Enhertu is a HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate (ADC) that it has developed with Daiichi Sankyo, while T-DM1 is a HER2-directed ADC currently approved to treat patients with HER2-positive unresectable or metastatic breast cancer previously treated with trastuzumab and a taxane. It said that at a prespecified interim analysis, Enhertu demonstrated a 72% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death compared to T-DM1.

Newspaper round-up

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, will hold an emergency summit with gas industry chiefs on Monday morning in an effort to contain the fallout caused by soaring market prices on consumers and businesses. Mid-level suppliers will be placed into administration if they fall into trouble this winter in an attempt to protect consumers from costlier bills, he revealed on Sunday, after spending a frantic weekend thrashing out contingencies for Britain's looming gas crisis. - Guardian

Campaigners have issued fresh calls for a windfall tax on companies that prospered during the pandemic, after research highlighted six firms that increased their profits by a total of £16bn. The outsourcing firm Serco and online clothes retailer Asos were among the companies that saw their global profits more than double over the last financial year, while one investment trust, Scottish Mortgage, saw its returns grow to nine times the average of preceding years. - Guardian

Brussels has opened the door to investing in OneWeb, the UK taxpayer-backed ­satellite broadband company, raising the prospect of a tie-up between Britain and the EU against Elon Musk's Starlink system. The European Commission has asked industry players and individuals to weigh in on the merits of backing a non-EU satellite provider as the bloc seeks to avoid being left behind in a global internet space race. Brussels has spent millions putting together proposals to build its own constellation of internet satellites but has made slow progress. - Telegraph

Virgin Money has been accused of "leaving charities in the lurch" by rejecting several takeover offers for its doomed charitable arm before pressing ahead with plans to shut it down. The Telegraph has learnt that the high street lender received a buyout offer from Virgin Money Giving's management, as well as a "blank cheque" proposal from a British entrepreneur. - Telegraph

Supermarket chains are trying to secure supplies of carbon dioxide after government talks with a big producer of the gas ended last night without a solution. Worries about empty shelves are increasing after operations at two fertiliser factories in northern England, which play a key role in the production of CO2, were shut last week because of the rising price of natural gas. - The Times

US close

Stocks closed in the red on Wall Street on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.48% at 34,584.88 by the end of trading.

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were 0.91% weaker, at 4,432.99 and 15,043.97, respectively.

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