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Morrisons sparkles with 8.5% rise in sales over festive period

Stacey Abrams Has A Blunt Reality Check On Georgia Secretary Of State Brad Raffensperger

Stacey Abrams is warning that while Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stands up to President Donald Trump, he’s not exactly an ally of voting rights. 

“Lionizing Brad Raffensperger’s a bit wrong-headed,” the voting rights activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate told Stephen Colbert on Monday. “This man is not defending the right of voters. He’s defending an election that he ran.” 

She added that Raffensperger is working with his fellow Republicans in the state to limit access to the ballot box with new restrictions that could take effect in time for the next election.

Still, Abrams conceded that it’s a “good thing” that Raffensperger is defending the presidential election results, in which President-elect Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1992. 

But she also offered a reality check: “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”  

See more of her conversation with Colbert below: 

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Next Plc Issues Trading Statement – Quick Facts

Next Plc (NXT.L) reported that, in the nine weeks to 26 December, total product full price sales were down 0.5%. Full price sales in the nine weeks to 26 December were down 1.1% on last year. The number of active customers has grown significantly during the year and, as at 26 December, online customer base was up 24% on last year.

Next Plc forecasts full year profit before tax to be 370 million pounds before two additional non-recurring items. With a non-recurring profit of 12 million pounds from a 53rd week, along with an additional property provision, total full year profit before tax is anticipated to be 342 million pounds.

For the year ahead (2021/22), the Group’s central guidance, which assumes Retail stores to be closed in February and March, is for profit before tax of 670 million pounds.

China state banks seen buying dollars to slow yuan rally – traders

SHANGHAI, Jan 5 (Reuters) – China’s major state-owned banks were seen buying U.S. dollars in the onshore spot market from noon on Tuesday, traders said, in a move viewed as an official effort to prevent the local currency from rising too fast.

The onshore spot market opened at 6.4601 per dollar and jumped to 6.4292 in the morning session, its strongest since June 15, 2018.

The state bank action quickly stopped the yuan from rising further, three traders said.

Indonesia’s Jokowi to Get Covid-19 Vaccination on Jan. 13

President Joko Widodo is set to get vaccinated against the coronavirus on Jan. 13, which would kick off Indonesia’s inoculation program.

Jokowi, as he’s commonly known, will receive the shots along with public and army representatives as a way to build confidence of the vaccines, said Heru Budi Hartono, head of the presidential secretariat. The event will be televised for the people to witness, he added.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy has already received shipment of 3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from China’sSinovac Biotech Ltd. It’s waiting on the local food and drug regulator to issue emergency use authorization for the shots to begin inoculating its population, with a target of reaching 181.5 million by March 2022.

Denmark’s Housing Market at Its Tightest Since Pre-2008 Crisis

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Not since the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis has Denmark’s housing market faced a similar gap between supply and demand, according to the home finance unit of Nordea Bank Abp.

The number of residential properties for sale has plunged to its lowest in over a decade,Nordea Kredit estimates, citing new figures compiled by the website boligsiden.dk. The pandemic has triggered a spike in searches for new homes, with ultra-low interest rates underpinning demand.

The development is particularly “worrying” in the capital Copenhagen, Nordea analyst Lise Bergmann said in a client note on Tuesday. Bergmann notes that the number of houses for sale in Copenhagen has plunged 40% over the past year.

The last time so few properties were on the market was in 2005 and 2006. Back then, the correction was painful. Once prices started to fall in 2007 and the years that followed, Denmark found itself in a housing-market selloff that resulted in an historic price slump.

“One can hope that the housing market cools down in its most hectic corners,” Bergmann said. That might happen once the vaccine reaches more people and there’s less of a need to stay at home, she said.

Morrisons sparkles with 8.5% rise in sales over festive period

Strong demand for luxury Christmas favourites helped to drive an 8.5% rise in sales at Morrisons over the festive period, as the chain kicked off reporting on what is expected to be a bumper trading period for supermarkets.

Morrisons said online sales had tripled and growth was boosted by strong demand for festive favourites such as champagne and salmon as families made the most of the quieter festivities.

Sales in Morrisons established stores rose 7.3% in the nine weeks to 3 January but that was boosted by a 1.2% rise in wholesale sales via the retailer’s deal with Amazon and to supply convenience stores.

David Potts, the chief executive, said: “The pandemic has had a severe effect on people and communities around Britain for nine months now but it has been especially hard at Christmas time.

“I’m very pleased with the way the Morrisons team has helped our customers across the nation enjoy their Christmas in the best way they could.”

Morrisons said customer shopping patterns were different this year, as Covid restrictions prevented larger gatherings of friends and family. Champagne sales were up 64% compared with last year, while sales of whole salmon rose 40%.

The chain said that despite the “extremely unpredictable current circumstances” it still expected profit for the current year to be in line with expectations.