A dark cloud hung over British American Tobacco’s shares after a broker’s downgrade stoked fears that the cigarette maker will take a more conservative approach to shareholder returns. Anaysts at Goldman Sachs cut their share buyback estimates for the 2023 financial year from £2.25bn to a more modest £1bn. (The Times £)

Shares in paper and packaging firms took a hit after Smurfit Kappa warned of a slowdown in demand over the summer. The FTSE 100 company, which makes boxes and packaging for the likes of Unilever and Nestle, said volumes fell 3 per cent in the three months to the end of September. (Daily Mail)

They have long been the Marmite of chocolate bars. Now the makers of the Bounty bar have recognised the divisive nature of their product by trialling a “Bounty-free” box of Celebrations (The Times £). Mars has decided to trial a “No Bounty” tub of Celebrations this Christmas after its consumer research confirmed their status as the least popular sweet (The Guardian). Mars Wrigley has made the controversial decision to take them out of some tubs in a trial after finding 39% of consumers want the coconut-flavoured treats banished for good (Sky News).

Shipping giant Maersk’s ominous warning of ‘dark clouds on horizon’ indicates trade is slowing globally. Soren Skou, the company’s chief executive, said it was clear that, following an exceptional period of trade, freight rates had peaked and had begun to normalise during the last three months. (Sky News)

The cost of making a cup of tea went up significantly as food prices continued to rise at record rates in October, a retail trade body has said. Costs for tea bags, milk and sugar all rose as food price inflation jumped from 10.6% last month to 11.6%, according to the British Retail Consortium (BBC, Sky News).