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UK factories see big drop in output ahead, supply problems too

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UK factories see big drop in output ahead, supply problems too 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British manufacturers expect a sharp fall in output in the three months ahead and there were widespread concerns about COVID and Brexit-related problems hindering the supply of components and materials, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Confederation of British Industry’s quarterly measure of expected new orders fell to -17 compared with a reading of zero in the previous survey in October.

New orders in the three months to January also fell to -12 from +3.

Stockpiling picked up ahead of Britain’s departure from the European Union’s single market on Dec. 31

Almost half of the manufacturers surveyed – the highest share since January 1975 – were worried that access to materials or components may limit their output over the quarter ahead.

“This appears to be linked to widespread COVID-related supply disruption, such as delays in shipments from abroad, a shortage of containers across the world, and knock-on impacts from disruptions to production over 2020,” the CBI said.

“Border challenges and customs-related delays arising from Brexit also appear to be playing a role.”

A monthly version of the survey showed manufacturers in January expected their output volumes to fall by the most since June of last year when Britain was emerging from its first coronavirus lockdown.

(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce; Editing by David Milliken)

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Thomson Reuters fourth-quarter revenue, adjusted earnings rise

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Thomson Reuters fourth-quarter revenue, adjusted earnings rise 2

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp reported higher fourth-quarter revenue on Tuesday and said it would start a two-year program that will change it from a holding company to an operating company.

The news and information company, which owns Reuters News, said revenues rose 2% to $1.62 billion, while its operating profit jumped more than 300% to $956 million, reflecting the sale of an investment, a gain from an amendment to pension plan and lower costs.

Its three main divisions, Legal Professionals, Tax & Accounting Professionals and Corporates, all showed higher organic quarterly sales and adjusted profit.

It was not immediately clear if adjusted earnings per share of 54 cents were directly comparable to the 46 cents expected.

Thomson Reuters’ markets are healthy and evolving, making this a good time to transition the company from a content provider to a “content-driven technology company,” Chief Executive Steve Hasker said in a statement.

Workplaces have been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic and artificial intelligence has a larger role in professional markets, he said.

(Writing by Nick Zieminski in New York, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman)

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Tesla shares set to skid into the red for the year

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Tesla shares set to skid into the red for the year 3

LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in Tesla were set to plunge into the red for the year on Tuesday, hit by a broad selloff of high-flying technology stocks and the fall of bitcoin, in which the electric carmaker recently invested $1.5 billion.

By 1029 GMT, Tesla was down over 8% in U.S. premarket deals after a similar drop during the previous session. The firm led by Elon Musk has had a stellar ride since 2020, which it began at about $85 per share, before reaching the $900 mark on January 25.

Currently trading at about $657 in pre market transactions, the stock has lost 27% from its peak, which is above the 20% level which technically defines a bear market.

Bitcoin has also swung into a bear market, falling from a peak of $58,354 on February 21 to a low of $45,000 earlier on Tuesday.

A Germany-based trader said he was “taking chips off the table” on Tesla as its 1.5 billion investment in the cryptocurrency could “backfire now”.

Analysts at Barclays noted that there has been a drop of conversations about the electric car makers in the Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum, which could explain some of the loss of appetite for the stock.

“With only 2-3 total submissions on each of the past several days, we remain below the trend in attention that has come along with big returns jumps in the past”, the analysts said in note.

Other analysts have also cautioned against investing in the stock which remains one of the most expensive on the S&P 500 index at 163 times its 12 month forward earnings.

Graphic: Tesla shares selloff after multi-fold gains

Tesla shares set to skid into the red for the year 4

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus and Thyagaraju Adinarayan)

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H&M, IKEA and Stora Enso backed TreeToTextile builds sustainable fibre demo plant

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H&M, IKEA and Stora Enso backed TreeToTextile builds sustainable fibre demo plant 5

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A venture part-owned by Finnish forestry group Stora Enso, Sweden’s H&M and IKEA said on Tuesday it was set to build a demonstration plant in Sweden for a new, more sustainable wood-based textile fibre after years of research.

To markedly reduce their climate footprint and pollution, large apparel and furniture brands are in dire need of affordable greener alternatives to cotton, traditional viscose and polyester. Several Nordic pulp makers are part of projects developing new clean ways https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nordics-forestry-idCAKCN0WF076 to turn trees into textile fibre.

TreeToTextile said in a statement its plant would have a production capacity of 1,500 tonnes and its owners would fund the bulk of the 35 million euro ($42.6 million) investment.

“The novel process is deliberately designed to have low energy demand and low chemical need. It is engineered to suit large scale production and includes a recovery systemfor reusing chemicals,” it said.

“By investing in a demonstration plant, we are finally on the go. With it we are turning years of R&D into reality to increase the biobased share on the textile market to support climate action.”

TreeToTextile, whose fourth part-owner is innovator Lars Stigsson, said the plant would be located at Stora Enso’s Nymolla mill in Sweden, and its construction would start in the near future.

Viscose is the main existing textile fibre from wood pulp – followed by the newer lyocell which has a cleaner manufacturing method. Production is dominated by Austria’s Lenzing, India’s Aditya Birla and China’s Sateri.

($1 = 0.82 euros)

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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