• Market Loop
  • Posts
  • Daily business and finance update 15th April 2024

Daily business and finance update 15th April 2024

Tesco profits jump

Good morning. Today we're talking about Tesco’s results, Microsoft’s new AI hub and gold reaches a new high.

Big Stories

Tesco profits jump

Tesco reported a £300m increase in profits to £2.83bn in the year to February amid a lowering of prices on over 4,000 products. The UK’s largest supermarket anticipates that these price cuts will continue as inflation slows, potentially luring back customers who sought cheaper alternatives. While inflation is easing, Tesco acknowledges ongoing challenges from rising labour costs including an almost 10% minimum wage increase that started this month. Despite these pressures, Tesco rewarded its 220,000 staff with a £70m "thank you" payment (around £300 per full-time employee). The supermarket also kept at bay the threat from German discounters Aldi and Lidl, as it grew its market share by 28 basis points to 27.6% in the UK.

Microsoft’s London AI hub

Microsoft is bolstering its AI presence in Europe with a new hub in London. This follows a £2.5bn investment pledge to the UK's AI sector. The London office will focus on advancing state-of-the-art language models and the supporting infrastructure. Microsoft is a major investor in ChatGPT-creator OpenAI, which itself opened an office in London in 2023. Microsoft will also be creating tools for "foundation models," which are powerful AI systems trained on massive datasets. The London hub adds to Microsoft's existing UK footprint, including its Cambridge research lab, and positions them as a leader in the European AI landscape.

Gold climbs higher

The price of gold has hit an all-time high after the value reached $2,4000 per ounce as growing tensions in the Middle East prompted investors to seek refuge in the safe-haven assets. Alongside rising geopolitical tensions, the rally has also been driven by uncertain economic conditions and financial markets. Central banks have been preparing to cut interest rates, which has encouraged investors to invest in commodities: gold’s price tends to rise when interest rates fall. And with the US only adding to its swelling debt pile, some are speculating that investors are safeguarding their portfolios against a default with the safe-haven metal.


Fee free: Ebay UK has scrapped selling fees for pre-worn clothing in an effort to encourage circular fashion.

Leadership change up: The former head of Tesco has been announced as the new chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, one of the biggest and most high-pressure jobs in retail.

Burger expansion: American burger chain Wendy’s is expanding across the UK with a series of restaurant openings it says will create 400 jobs.

Fashion fallout: The high street fashion chain Ted Baker is to close 15 stores across the UK with the loss of 245 jobs after falling into administration.

Death sentence: A prominent property tycoon has been sentenced to death for her role in Vietnam’s biggest-ever fraud case.

Loop Likes

Number of the Day


How much World Athletics will award to gold medallists at the Paris Olympics, breaking with 128 years of tradition.

Not a subscriber? Sign up for free

Want to reach an audience of UK business leaders, young professionals and 2,000+ other smart, ambitious people? Reply to this email and we'll be in touch.