BUSINESS LIVE: Energy crisis hits sterling; Next upgrades profit forecast


BUSINESS LIVE: Energy crisis hits sterling; Next upgrades profit forecast; Investors await Evergrande interest payment deadline


Sterling tumbled to an eight-month low on Tuesday as the fuel crisis sweeping Britain spooked investors, with the pound sinking almost 1.3 per cent back towards $1.35 against the dollar. It is up marginally in early trading today.

Next has reported a 5.9 per cent rise in first-half profit versus same time pre-Covid two years ago, raising its full-year profit guidance for the fourth time in six months.

The retailer has benefited from strong trading since coronavirus restrictions ended, making a first-half pre-tax profit of £347million.

Global investment markets are keenly focused on Chinese property developer Evergrande Group, which today faces a deadline for a bond coupon payment to offshore investors.

Evergrande, which in total owes $305bn, has been forced to sell some of its assets as it faces a $47.5million bond interest payment on its 9.5 per cent March 2024 dollar bond.

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The energy crisis helped push sterling to an eight-month low on Tuesday



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