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Wednesday Update

DB Live: High court rules on Stagecoach rail claim; markets

4.45pm: London close

Markets were more settled after a turbulent few days, though the early surge gave way to some profit taking ahead of tomorrow’s Bank of England statement. The FTSE 100 peaked at 6309 before closing just 10.46 points (0.17%) higher at 6,253.25.

4pm: STV placing

STV announced that it had successfully placed 7,050,665 shares at a price of 230p per share with new and existing investors.

Full story here

3pm: Five years for airlines to recover

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2pm: Coronavirus outbreak at UK food factory

Workers at a UK meat factory supplying chicken for KFC and Tesco have been infected by the coronavirus.

An unspecified number of employees at the 2 Sisters site in North Wales are self-isolating after a series of confirmed cases. One staff member at the plan is understood to be in hospital.

12.10pm: Stagecoach rail action rejected

The high court has ruled against Stagecoach’s claim that the UK government was wrong to prevent the company bidding for three rail franchises because of a dispute over pensions.

Full story here

Noon: Gin Awards

The Scottish Gin Awards dinner and celebration is now scheduled to take place on Thursday 12 November at the Glasgow Doubletree by Hilton hotel. 

10.40am: STV placing

STV Group is to raise new funding via a placing of new shares.

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9.35am: Scotland’s GDP falls by a fifth

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9am: Beijing virus lockdown

More than 1,200 flights have been cancelled to and from Beijing today while 27 neighbourhoods are in lockdown and schools are closed as China battles a new coronavirus outbreak.  

8.45am: SSE edges London higher

SSE led London’s blue-chip gainers following its full-year results (see below), while B&Q owner Kingfisher rallied in the FTSE 250 as it saw a recent improvement in trading.

Boohoo gained on AIM following a strong first quarter and its latest acquisitions (see below).

The overall London market edged higher following a mixed session in Asia overnight where Beijing tries to tackle a fresh Covid-19 outbreak.

The FTSE 100 index was 53 points (0.85%) higher at 6,295.9.

8am: Made Brave goes remote following record results

Brand agency Made Brave has opted for more remote working as it reported record annual results.

Full story here

7am: HSBC revives job cuts plan

HSBC is resuming a massive redundancy plan it had put on ice after the coronavirus outbreak, and will cut 35,000 jobs over the medium term, a memo seen by Reuters has revealed.

The bank will also maintain a freeze on almost all external recruitment, Chief Executive Noel Quinn said in the memo sent to the bank’s 235,000 staff worldwide.

Boohoo reports strong sales

Online fashion chain Boohoo has acquired the online businesses of two high street brands.

Full story here

Inflation falls

Money - own pic

Inflation fell to 0.5% in May from 0.8% as lower energy prices and a slump in demand saw prices at their lowest level since the Brexit referendum.

A decline in the price of fuel at the pumps was a large contributing factor to the decline. Average petrol prices stood at 106.2 pence per litre in May, the lowest since April 2016.

Globally, demand for oil has plunged in the wake of widespread lockdown restrictions across the world and falling activity in travel.

7am: SSE committed to dividend

Richard Gillingwater, chairman of renewables-focused SSE, said the company is committed to paying dividends, despite cutting the payout for the last financial year.

Full story here

William Hill placing

William Hill has raised £224 million in a placing of more than 174.8 million shares at 128p.

6am: Markets

The FTSE 100 is expected to open slightly lower after ending Tuesday’s session 178 points higher (2.94%) at 6,242.79.

Traders may be more hesitant ahead of the Bank of England’s meeting on Thursday.

Wall Street was buoyed by reports of US infrastructure spending plans and retail sales data which showed an improvement in the American economy. News of progress on potential coronavirus treatments also helped to lift optimism.

The Dow ended Tuesday’s session 2% higher at 26,289 while the S&P 500 climbed 1.9% to 3,124 and the Nasdaq rose 1.7% to 9,895.

However, the picture turned negative in Asia as a new outbreak of coronavirus in Beijing and news of clashes between India and China in the Himalayas sent the Japanese Nikkei 225 down 0.62% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.28%.

On the currency markets, the pound was 0.12% lower at US$1.2552 against the dollar.

Retailers ‘on the brink’

Scottish retailers are hoping the government tomorrow confirms a date for shops to reopen after new data showed sales slumped by more than a quarter.

Full story here

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

High growth firms secure support in £230m package

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