Friday Update

Daily Business Live: Higgins leads advisory group; Open delay

5.40pm: Higgins leads advisory group

An independent advisory group has been set up to provide expert economic advice to the Scottish Government in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The group will provide urgent advice on the private sector and business aspects of the Scottish Government’s economic response.

Membership will draw on leading expertise across regions and sectors, led by businessman and government strategic adviser Benny Higgins. Academic Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli is one of the first appointees.

4.45pm: London close

The market held on to this morning’s early gains with the FTSE 100 closing at 5,786.96 +158.53 (2.82%).

4pm: FSB welcomes progress

The Scottish Government has released figures showing that £215 million of coronavirus grant funding has been released to 18,528 Scottish businesses. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland welcomed the progress, but urged councils and government to deliver the grants more quickly.

Full story here

3pm: Job scheme extension

Carolyn Fairbairn

The CBI chief has welcomed the Chancellor’s decision to extend the Job Retention Scheme to the end of June.

Full story here

11.20am: Golf delay

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open may be rescheduled by the European Tour after being postponed due to coronavirus.

Full story here

8.45am London open

The markets opened strongly on lockdown hopes. The FTSE 100 was trading at 5,768.21 +139.78 (2.48%).

7.40am: Loganair airlift

Loganair has made a first foray into Eastern Europe, supporting travel for key workers from Latvia and Poland in the North Sea emergency response industry.

Full story here

7.30am: Factor expands

Taylor & Martin, the Glasgow-based factor, has opened an Edinburgh office and appointed David Jones to head the company’s East Coast operations. 

Full story here

7am: Bets off at Flutter

Davy Russell winning second Grand National

Since suspension of UK and Irish racing, PaddyPower Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment said revenue has declined by 32% year-on-year. A 46% reduction in sports revenue is less than expected due to continuation of racing in Australia and US.

US gaming revenue increased by 260%, driven by successful cross-sell strategies in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania where the group launched its FanDuel online casino product on 20 January.

FanDuel’s combined online gaming market share in New Jersey and Pennsylvania reached 25% in February.

Brewin Dolphin

In an update ahead of half year figures David Nicol, chief executive at the wealth manager, said the firm is encouraged by a good performance in the first quarter with improving markets and positive discretionary net inflows, which strongly accelerated into the second quarter.

“Not surprisingly, the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the unprecedented reaction of the global markets, has negatively impacted the value of our clients’ funds and consequently our second quarter total income.

“We have a strong balance sheet with good cash generation, and a robust regulatory capital position, which will support us as markets recover and enable us to service the growing demand for financial advice in the UK and Ireland. We currently have no intention of participating in any Government schemes.”

Second half total discretionary net flows are £0.4bn, representing an annualised growth rate of 3.8% (Q1 2020: £0.1bn, annualised growth rate of 1.0%).

6am: Markets

Trump at first media rally

Crude oil prices rose in Asia on hopes of a partial easing of the US lockdown after US President Donald Trump issued guidelines on a phased re-start.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 index is up 2.8%. In China, the Shanghai Composite is up 1.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is up 2.6%.

The FTSE 100 index of large-caps is expected to open 182.17 points higher at 5,810.60. The index closed up 30.78 points, or 0.6%, at 5,628.43 on Thursday.

Comment: Factories and the young must be first in phased return to work

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