Wednesday Update

Daily Business Live: Wimbledon off; climate plan delay

5pm: Newspaper group furloughs

JPI Media, owner of The Scotsman, Yorkshire Post and Falkirk Herald, is putting several hundred employees on furlough and cutting the salaries of those who continue working.

Full story here

4.45pm: Markets

The FTSE100 ended the session at 5,454.57 −217.39 (3.83%)

4.15pm: Wimbledon off

Jamie Murray and Martin Hingis with mixed doubles trophies

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War after the All England Club decided it was not possible to reschedule to a later date in the year.

All pre-Wimbledon tournaments including those at Queen’s Club, Birmingham and Eastbourne have also been cancelled.

The French Open at Roland Garros, another outdoor championship, has been moved to September, though it may not happen.

Flushing Meadows in New York, home to the US Open due to begin in late August, is currently being converted into a temporary medical centre. 

Full story here

1pm: Climate change plan

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has announced that the Scottish Government will not be publishing the Climate Change Plan update at the end of April.

Full story here

Noon: Edinburgh Festival off

mono cyclist Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh Fringe, International, Book Festival and Military Tattoo will not take place in August, it has been announced.

Full story here

10.20am: Jury trials u-turn

Scottish Parliament Holyrood

The Scottish government has dropped plans to hold trials without juries during the coronavirus lockdown.

Ministers proposed judge-only trials during the pandemic to meet social distancing rules.

But after opposition to the plan from lawyers and politicians the proposal has been dropped from emergency legislation.

MSPs are expected to back the bill in a debate at Holyrood today. It includes changes over eviction of tenants.

Full story here

8.30am Potato support

A Perthshire farming business that supplies table and seed potatoes to the UK, Europe, North Africa and Middle East is modernising its operating processes after securing £1 million from HSBC UK.

Muthill-based FIMM Potatoes will use the facility to purchase an optical potato grader. The huge multi-level, fully automatic potato sorter will help double throughput.

The new equipment will also relieve FIMM’s 10-strong team from much repetitive manual labour, allowing them to focus on additional duties and developing technical skills to help the business continue to innovate and grow.

8.15am: Markets – shares plunge

Donald Trump

The FTSE 100 has slumped after US president Donald Trump warned the US coronavirus death toll could reach up to 240,000.

The blue-chip index tumbled 238.95 (4.21%) to 5,433.01 after Mr Trump said the country needed to prepare for a ‘very, very painful two weeks’.

7.40am: Savills delay

Property agency Savills has deferred its Annual General Meeting from 6 May to 25 June. 

Savills is withdrawing its previously announced proposed dividends in order to retain sufficient cash reserves.

The board is likely to declare an enhanced interim dividend on or around the revised date of the AGM. It will take the place of both the proposed ordinary and supplemental interim dividends

7.35am: Taylor Wimpey pay cuts

Directors at the construction company have taken a 30% cut in base salary and pension for the duration of the lockdown and said the 2% annual salary increase due to come into effect on 1 April has been cancelled along with annual bonuses.

7.30am: Minimum wage rises

Low paid workers will get a pay rise today as the minimum wage is raised.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the new rates earlier this month for two million workers.

The National Living Wage (NLW) – the rate for over 25s – is rising from £8.21 to £8.72 an hour, a 6.2% increase.

Apprentices and all other basic rate workers over the age of 16 will also get a boost.

The rates are set by the Low Pay Commission, and mean an increase of £930 a year for a full-time worker aged 25 or older.

Younger workers who are paid the National Minimum Wage will also see their pay boosted with increases of between 4.6% and 6.5%, depending on their age, with 21-24 year olds seeing a 6.5% increase from £7.70 to £8.20 an hour.

7.10am: Markets

The FTSE 100 is expected to open with a triple-digit loss as concern mounts over the escalating state of the coronavirus pandemic.

The market is London seems set to follow falls onWall Street overnight, with the Dow closing 1.8% lower at 21,917 as it booked its worst quarter in 124 years.

The S&P 500 closed 1.6% lower at 2,584 and the Nasdaq fell 0.9% to 7,700.

Fears of a looming recession also drove Asian markets lower, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 down 2.4% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.2%.

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