Tuesday update

DB Live: Lockdown easing; Travis Perkins; markets higher

4.45pm: London close

The FTSE 100 index closed firmly ahead as the volatility on markets continued.

The blue-chip benchmark, which closed lower yesterday as traders fretted about a second spike of coronavirus, closed up tonight, soaring 178 points, or 2.94% at 6,242.79.

Reports that US President Donald Trump is considering a $1trn infrastructure package saw Wall Street gather pace. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added over 422 points and the S&P 500 gained almost 63.

4pm: Bookmaker to raise funds

Bookmaker William Hill is looking to raise about £245 million through an issue of nearly one-fifth of its share capital, as it looks to reopen its betting shops.

12.35pm: Sturgeon expects move to phase two

Nicola Sturgeon said she was in a position to “hope and expect” that Scotland will move from phase one to phase two of the lockdown when she announces her review on Thursday.

It should mean that factories can reopen, construction continue to get back to work and a date will be set for reopening of non-essential shops.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes was due to announce a £230m package of support, targeting further and higher education, roads and public transport, as well as further investment in companies with high growth potential at Ravenscraig, the Edinburgh BioQuarter and the Michelin Innovation Parc.

Full story here

9am: Travis Perkins shuts branches

The UK’s biggest builders’ merchant Travis Perkins, which operate the operates the Wickes and Toolstation brands, is to close 165 branches in a move expected to see its workforce reduced by around 2,500.

The branch closures represent 8% of the group’s network and the job cuts about 9% of the workforce.

Chief executive Nick Roberts said: “Whilst we have experienced improving trends more recently, we do not expect a return to pre-COVID trading conditions for some time.”

8.10am: London opens strongly

The FTSE 100 bounced back strongly after the Federal Reserve said it will start buying individual corporate bonds.

The blue-chip index jumped 2.44% to 6,212 points, erasing Monday’s losses as traders remained concerned over resurgent coronavirus.

7am: Shopping centre investment

Ocean Terminal in Leith is to get an upgrade and will not be rebranded.

Full story here

7am: Labour market figures

Jamie Hepburn

Scottish government ministers are convening a Labour Market Summit tomorrow following new figures showing the unemployment rate in Scotland jumped to 4.6%, representing an increase of 30,000 to 127,000.

Full story here

Cineworld to reopen

Cineworld is planning to reopen cinemas across the UK on 10 July and said it has made several operational changes and invested in new technology “to ensure a safe but enjoyable cinematic experience.”

It has adapted our daily movie schedules to manage queues and avoid the build-up of crowds in lobbies.

Wood secures $200m deals

Aberdeen-based Wood, the engineering and consulting company, has secured two solar engineering, procurement and construction contracts from an American power and energy company worth more than $200 million.

Full story here

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