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Monday update

DB Live: FTSE 100 jumps; exit route map due; Aldi tie-up

6.30pm Restaurants in trouble

The owner of restaurant chains Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia has filed intent to appoint administrators at the High Court.

Owner Casual Dining Group, whose brands also include the Las Iguanas chain, employs about 6,000 workers.

The company said the move would give it ten days breathing space to consider “all options” for restructuring.

4.45pm: London closes higher

London Stock Exchange

Optimism that a vaccine to combat Covid-19 will soon be produced, alongside growing state support for economies, helped drive the markets to their best one day gains for several weeks.

The FTSE 100 closed 248.82 points or 4.29% higher at 6,048.59, although it is still 20% down this year.

Investors warmed to news from Boston-based biotech company Moderna which reported positive results from the first human trial of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine.

Shares in the company jumped by 30% at the opening of Wall Street trading. The Dow Jones was up 700 points or nearly 3%.

1pm: SPFL vote to end season

Celtic have been crowned league champions and Hearts relegated after the SPFL officially ended the Premiership season.

Full story here

12.40pm: Route map to exiting lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon said a ‘route map’ for exiting the lockdown will be published on Thursday, including a phased return to school and guidance to key industries.

The First Minister said new measures, including more outdoor activities, would be allowed from 28 May.

More details here

11.15am: Laser funding

UniKLasers, a manufacturer of high precision scientific laser instrumentation used in an array of industrial applications, has closed a £750,000 financing round led by Par Equity with support from The Scottish Investment Bank. 

Full story here

9.30am: App for home delivery

Scotland’s largest independent cash and carry firm, United Wholesale, has signed a long-term deal with Glasgow-based technology firm DrinkSorted whose app will increase its home delivery service.

The move will take the number of stores registered with DrinkSorted to 1,500, making it one of the largest home delivery platforms in Scotland following its launch in 2019.

The DrinkSorted app will be made available to stores which are part of the United Wholesale network, including its chain of 500 Day-Today and USave shops, and about 1,000 independent convenience stores.

8.10am: London open

The FTSE 100 opened strongly, rising 130.27 points (2.25%) to 5,930.04, led by mining companies. 

Strong risers include Fresnillo (+8%), Glencore (+5%) Anglo American (+5%) and Evraz (5%).

Investors were encouraged by the reopening of economies.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “A large market rally has been fuelled by positive data on death and infection rates in countries which are easing lockdown conditions, helping alleviate some of the concerns over a second wave in the pandemic.

“Equities also got a boost as US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell told US television the Fed ‘wasn’t out of ammunition by a long shot’ despite the massive injections of liquidity into the financial eco-system it has already delivered.”

Stocks have jumped in Asia-Pacific markets overnight, with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.5% and Australia’s S&P/ASX gaining 1%. European markets are also heading for a strong morning.

7.30am: Intu warning

Braehead shopping centre owner Intu said it expects to breach covenants on its current debts as its shopping centres struggle with the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares in the company slipped in a rising market as it said that talks with its lenders over its finances are continuing.

The company said its sites remain closed, except for essential stores, but warned that the speed of the market recovery after the lockdown remains unclear.

7.15am: Aldi teams with Deliveroo

Aldi

Aldi UK, the supermarket discounter, is trialling grocery home delivery for the first time in partnership with Deliveroo.

It will offer a rapid delivery service from a store in Nottingham before extending the trial to a further seven stores across the East Midlands in June.

If successful, the service could roll out to further Aldi stores by the end of 2020, it said.

Pub operator Greene King, owner of Belhaven has introduced a delivery and takeaway service from pubs in its its Metropolitan Pub Company division in London.

7.10am New HIV drug

Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced a major breakthrough on a HIV treatment it has been trialling in patients.

The new treatment, Cabotegravir, is 69% more effective than the pill, Truvada which is currently available.

7am: Ryanair bullish amid losses

Ryanair expects to book a €200 million record loss in the first quarter because of the Covid-19 crisis but believes it will be one of the survivors as competitors shrink, fail or are acquired by government bailed out carriers.

Full story here

Collagen in talks with buyers

Stem cell company Collagen Solutions is talks with potential buyers following its decision to pursue options for maximising value for shareholders.

Full story here

Limits on trains

Train operators are planning to limit numbers boarding specific services as more services return in England.

Passengers could be prevented from boarding a train or entering a platform if there are already too many people.

Many intercity trains will be reservation only and Avanti West Coast has said it would not allow carriages to be more than a third full.

Some train companies will block off seats to ensure that passengers spread out. It is also possible that if a service becomes relatively busy early on, then the train will not stop at other destinations along its route.

Todays’s other top Daily Business stories

Sturgeon to unveil first steps in easing lockdown

Companies facing crackdown on government support

M&S and Next among stores ‘mothballing’ stock for next year



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