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John Lewis blames inflationary pressures for delay in turnaround plan

Thanks for joining me. John Lewis has blamed “inflationary pressures” for a two-year delay to its five-year turnaround plan. It comes as the retailer announced another loss for the first six months of its financial year.

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What happened overnight

Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Thursday after a highly anticipated report showed inflation accelerated across the US in August, but not by much more than expected. The subdued increase in prices eased worries over the likelihood of another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, leading Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 to surge 1.2pc to 33,104.79.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.2pc to 17,969.38 on renewed concern over China’s property sector. Major real estate developer Country Garden’s Hong Kong-traded shares sank 4.6pc ahead of a deadline for a bond repayment.

The Shanghai Composite index was flat, at 3,124.43, while Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.9pc to 2,556.60. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.5pc to 7,189.70.

Wall Street delivered a mixed performance on Wednesday after fresh data showed inflation accelerated last month but not by much more than expected. The S&P 500 nudged up 0.1pc to 4,467.44 after flipping between small gains and losses a few times through the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2pc to 34,575.53, and the Nasdaq composite climbed 0.3pc to 13,813.59.

In the bond market, the benchmark yield on the 10-year Treasury edged down to 4.26pc from 4.27pc late Tuesday. It had swung as high as 4.34pc immediately after the inflation report.

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