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Market Report: FTSE falls flat ahead of Fed meeting and Uber drivers to get at least minimum wage

The Market Report with Katie Pilbeam. 

FTSE 100 lost ground as traders waited for the Federal Reserve forecasts for economic growth and the impact that might have on the outlook for inflation and bond yields. London’s blue-chip index shed 21 to 6,781 in early deals.

Uber (NYSE:UBER) is to guarantee minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions for its 70,000 UK drivers. The hailing app lost a legal battle to recognise drivers as workers rather than self-employed.

Hargreaves Lansdown PLC (LON:HL.) said profits will top the market's forecasts as its customers continued to trade in exceptional volumes. The Gamestop frenzy drove up interest in US stocks.
The UK government has raised £1.3bn from the first stage of the 5G airwaves auction. BT Group PLC’s (LON:BT.A) mobile arm EE paid £452mln to secure bandwidth.

Among the small caps, Fox Marble Holdings PLC (LON.FOX), the quarrying group currently in dispute with the Repubic of Kosovo, has hired some heavy hitters to bat for it. It has retained Simon Nesbitt QC of the Maitland Chambers in London and has also engaged Kroll Associates to act on its behalf in the €195mln claim.

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) has unearthed a further three gem-quality stones from its Kareevlei operation in the Kimberley region of South Africa. The trio weighed in at 10.6 carats, 9.8 carats and 8.4 carats respectively.

DeepVerge PLC (LON:DVRG) said initial results from phase III clinical studies of a rapid Coronavirus (COVID-19) breath test showed it can deliver results in under 60 seconds. Chief executive Gerard Brandon described the early data from the real-world assessment of the Microtox BT system as a “major milestone”.

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