Thursday update

DB Live: BAE Systems orders hold up; Mitie-Interserve deal

4.45pm: London closes higher

Sentiment strengthened in the face of continued warnings of a second wave of coronavirus. Markets across Europe were higher.

London’s FTSE 100 closed 23.45 points up at 6,147.14p.

3pm: Long-Bailey axed from Shadow Cabinet

Rebecca Long-Bailey: Article

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has fired Shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey over distribution of an anti-semitic article.

Ms Long-Bailey was among the contenders to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

Full story here

12.30pm: Nimmo returns to fund

Fund management veteran Harry Nimmo is taking over as co-manager of an Aberdeen Standard Investments global small cap fund eight years after launching the sector strategy.

Full story here

8.30am: London open

London stocks fell again in early trade following heavy losses in the previous session, amid growing concerns about a rise in new coronavirus infections in the US.

The FTSE 100 was 0.6% lower at 6,085.29.

8am: Reactec funding

Reactec, the Edinburgh-based vibration monitoring company, has completed a further £700,000 round of fundraising for the ongoing development of its equipment and reporting technology.

Full story here

7.30am: Outsourcing merger

Two of Britain’s biggest government outsourcers are merging their support services divisions, creating a business employing almost 80,000.

Mitie Group is buying the facilities management arm of rival Interserve for £271m.

Both firms serve clients such as the NHS and the Ministry of Defence.

7am: BAE Systems orders maintained

Type 23 frigate

The defence company said demand remains high with order intake in line with its original expectations for the year.

Sales for the half year are expected to be broadly stable year on year whilst half year profit is expected be c.15% lower than last year primarily due to cost under recoveries in the period, significantly reduced volumes in higher margin commercial work and the sales mix year on year.

“As we return towards full operational tempo we expect the business performance in the second half to be much stronger than in the first half, assuming no new significant COVID-19 related disruptions,” it said in a pre-close update.

“The liquidity of the group remains strong. As in prior years, cash has a significant first half working capital outflow. Despite some additional profit to cash impacts from COVID-19 disruptions, operating business cashflow in the half-year remains broadly in line with expectations and, excluding the one-off £1bn injection into the UK pension scheme, is likely to be consistent with the first half cash profiles seen in the last two years.”

Following the announcement in April to defer the decision on the 2019 final dividend payment, the board will provide an update with half year results next month.

Royal Mail announces job cuts

Royal Mail letters post box

Royal Mail is to cut 2,000 jobs in a management restructuring to address “long-standing challenges”.

Staff reductions will be part of a plan to take £430 million of costs out of the business over the next two years.

Full story here

EasyJet placing

Budget airline easyJet said it had raised about £419 million through a share placing to help it withstand the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline said it had placed a total of 59.5 million new ordinary shares at a price of 703 pence per share after announcing the move after the market’s close on Wednesday.

Tech investment

Investors pumped £4 billion into smaller UK tech businesses last year, an increase of more than a quarter on the year before and the highest level for at least eight years, new figures today reveal.

The study by the British Business Bank found that 52% of deals by number took place outside London, with the south west of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland showing a strong increase by deal number in 2019, rising by 34%, 26% and 24%respectively.

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