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As of 23:14 23 Jan 2019
Market cap. Pound sterling
7,471.14 million
As of 23:15 23 Jan 2019

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Sainsbury's shares on the rise

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The FTSE 100 is down 0.50% at 6,802.95.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo is leading the blue chip risers, up 4% at 911p.

It is followed by Sainsbury's, up 2.5% at 266.65p, as the supermarket chain prepares to update investors on Christmas sales on Wednesday.

British Gas-owner Centrica is the biggest faller, down 4.62% at 130.95p.

On the FTSE 250, Dunelm retains its place as Monday's largest gainer, up 11.24% at 643.75p, after sales rose over Christmas and it upgraded its interim profit forecast.

The FTSE 250 is up 0.92% at 17,960.36.

Centrica in legal challenge to energy price cap

centrica van

British Gas owner Centrica is to mount a legal challenge against Britain's upcoming energy price cap, arguing it has not been calculated fairly.

The energy provider said it would apply for a judicial review against the regulator Ofgem, saying it had set the threshold too low.

The firm said it wanted not to delay the cap, due to come in on 1 January, but to change how it is set.

The regulator said it would defend its proposals "robustly".

Read on.

Centrica seeking review of Ofgem's price caps

A gas stove fire

British Gas owner Centrica is seeking a judicial review of Ofgem's impending energy price cap, which is designed to prevent energy suppliers from overcharging customers.

Centrica is pursuing a legal challenge to get Ofgem to change the way in which it calculated wholesale energy costs by altering the period the regulator used, which relates to forward contracts from February to July 2018.

Centrica said: "Centrica plc is seeking judicial review of Ofgem’s decision of 6 November 2018, which relates only to the treatment of wholesale cost transitional arrangements and Ofgem’s decision not to investigate and correct its failure to enable the recovery of the wholesale energy costs that all suppliers incur.

"Through this action Centrica has no intention to delay implementation of the cap, and does not expect the cap to be deferred in any way.

"As we have previously said, we do not believe that a price cap will benefit customers but we want to ensure that there is a transparent and rigorous regulatory process to deliver a price cap that allows suppliers, as a minimum, to continue to operate to meet the requirements of all customers."

Centrica drags on FTSE 100

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The UK's top share index is down more than 0.5% at 7,012 points in early trading.

Top faller on the index is Centrica, with shares down more than 8% after it revealed a hit of around £70m from the incoming energy price cap.

Meanwhile, European shares are firmly in the red, with Italian banks dragging the sector lower as bond yields rise over renewed worries about Italy's EU budget debacle.

BreakingCentrica expects price cap hit

British Gas van
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British Gas owner Centrica has warned that Ofgem's incoming default tariff energy price cap will hit earnings by around £70m in the first quarter of 2019.

In a trading statement, Centrica said: "As previously indicated, we expect the price cap to result in some negative near-term impact on earnings and cash flow, particularly in 2019 before we have fully realised planned cost efficiencies."

British Gas sheds more customers

More on the £70m hit Centrica expects from Ofgem's energy price cap...

The company says that while the ongoing impact of the cap is in line with previous forecasts, the regulator's recent revisions to calculation changes meant it would take the one-off earnings hit in the initial period after the cap comes into force in January.

Centrica also revealed that British Gas shed 372,000 household accounts in the four months to the end of October as it moves customers off standard variable tariffs ahead of the cap and amid high levels of switching in the market.

British Gas now has 3.1 million customers on the its SVT, down from 4.3 million at the start of the year, and it expects this to reduce further below 3 million by the end of the year.

Melrose tops FTSE 100 risers

Melrose Industries
Melrose Industries
Melrose Industries acquired GKN earlier this year for £8.1bn

Despite reporting a £303m interim loss, Melrose Industries is leading the FTSE 100 risers at midday.

The company, which succeeded in buying engineering firm GKN earlier this year for £8.1bn, saw its share price rise by 5.52% to £234.95.

Melrose said the loss was due to "significant acquisition related charges" but chief executive Christopher Miller said: "Plans have been agreed and are now being implemented to realise the full potential of GKN's world-leading, but currently under-developed, businesses."

British Gas-owner Centrica remained as a major blue chip riser - up 5.23% to 150.9p - after Ofgem announced a price cap on household energy bills.

The FTSE 100 is down 0.24% at 7,365.43.

Thameslink-owner Go-Ahead is the FTSE 250's biggest riser, up 6.6% at £17.45 after reporting better than expected full-year profits.

Sirius Minerals, which is seeking additional funding for its North Yorkshire potash mine, is down 10.4% at 29.17p.

The FTSE 250 is down 0.22% at 20,344.38.

Energy firms lead FTSE 100 risers

London Stock Exchange
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British Gas-owned Centrica's share price rose by 4.25% to 149.53p, propelling it to the top of the FTSE 100 this morning, after Ofgem announced a cap on energy bill.

The proposed limit will save households on the default standard variable tariff an average £75 - less than the £100 envisioned by Prime Minister Theresa May.

SSE's share price also increased, up 1.54% at £12.83.

The wider FTSE 100 is off 0.22% at 7,366.99.

Better than expected full-year results from Go-Ahead Group sent the bus and train operator to the top of the FTSE 250, with its share price gaining 7.5% to £17.63.

The FTSE 250 is down 0.69% at 20,247.13.