Chicago corn futures edged lower on Friday, staying on course for a weekly loss, as concerns about export delays following storm damage continued to hang over the market. Moderate weather in the U.S. Midwest also capped prices by suggesting scope for late yield gains before the upcoming corn and soybean harvest. Soybeans futures ticked up as a run of export sales countered worries over disruption to grain logistics caused by Hurricane Ida. Wheat also edged higher, consolidating like corn and soybeans near multi-week lows. Attention in grain markets was turning towards the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 10 September monthly supply and demand estimates. Investors were also awaiting monthly U.S. jobs data on Friday. The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 0.9% at $5.20-3/4 a bushel by 1159 GMT, near a seven-week low touched on Thursday.
Upmarket fashion retailer Ted Baker's sales surged during the second quarter as customers returned to shops after months of coronavirus restrictions in search of new clothes for socialising again. Ted Baker, which has 560 stores and concessions, pointed to a rebound in North American and UK shopping malls as consumer confidence picked up, helping retail sales - comprising in-store and online sales - jump 30% during the period. Online sales alone, however, dropped by 25% as consumers headed back to stores, reports Reuters. Overall sales, including wholesale and licensing as well, were up 50% from a year earlier when stay-at-home orders hammered demand for formal wear, forcing Ted Baker to cut hundreds of jobs and raise money to weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Retail sales during the second quarter, however, were still a third lower compared to pre-pandemic levels, the company said. Ted Baker's shares, which surged more than 8% on Monday in anticipation of Tuesday's update, were flat in early trading on the London bourse. With a year-to-date rise of 45%, they look to end 2021 with an annual gain after five straight years of losses.
Hungarian real estate group Indotek is in talks with ELO Group about forming an alliance that could involve taking a minority stake in French retailer Auchan Retail's Hungarian unit, ELO said in a statement. The move would fit into a broader drive under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which has seen the state and Hungarian investors boost their stakes in key sectors of the economy, such as the media, energy and banking. The deal would also involve ELO's Ceetrus Hungary unit, which operates 600,000 square metres of retail space in Hungary, according to information on its website. Auchan currently operates 24 stores in Hungary, according to its website.