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British stock market today, October 20 – what you need to know

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A more downbeat day as political turmoil continues to grip Britain.

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.17% and the FTSE 250 closed down 1.61% as fears over surging inflation once again gripped markets

Soaring food prices have driven inflation in the UK to a new 40-year-high in September – the highest since early 1982. 

The consumer price index rose 10.1%, compared with 9.9% in August, according to the Office for National Statistics. 

That puts inflation back at the July peak, driven by food prices rising 14.5% on the levels a year earlier. 

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said in a statement, “This government will prioritise help for the most vulnerable while delivering wider economic stability and driving long-term growth that will help everyone.”

The rise has increased investor expectations of further interest rate rises from the Bank of England. 

Meanwhile, political pressure mounted on Prime Minister Liz Truss, with further resignations from her cabinet. 

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG said, “Like stock markets, PM Liz Truss has seen a limited revival over the past 36 hours, but the questions about her leadership, and political stability in the UK, will surely return.”

“Even a return to double-digit inflation for the UK has not done much for the pound. Instead, the resurgent greenback (lifted in part by those better earnings) has put renewed pressure on sterling.”

Meanwhile, shares in Just Eat (GB:JET) rose 3$ on news that the company has returned to profitability – ahead of its expectations – driven by continuous cost-cutting efforts.

British business news today

‘There is no path back for low-tax liberal Conservatism’ (FT

Banks face surge in bad debt as mortgage costs soar $52 billion (Telegraph)

Profits at UK banks to hit $33 billion (Times

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