Tuesday update

DB Live: Fishing deal hopes; Oddbins rescue; Ted Baker; HALO

10.30pm: US close

US stocks closed higher on Tuesday as investors remained optimistic about the reopening of the US economy despite a wave of civil unrest spreading across the country.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.05%, the S&P 500 was 0.82% firmer, while the Nasdaq Composite was 2.02% stronger.

4.45pm: London close

UK shares ended at near three-month highs amid continued bets on government stimulus and easing of lockdowns. The FTSE 100 closed 53.72 points (0.87%) higher at 6,220.14.

2.40pm: Lloyds halts job cuts

Lloyds says it will extend its suspension of 780 job cuts until October.

More staff have been needed to arrange mortgage and credit card holidays and distribute government-backed loans.

2.30pm: US open

Wall Street opened slightly higher in spite of continuing protests across the country over the killing of George Floyd. The Dow Jones was 0.5% higher.

1pm: Italy welcomes Brits

The Italian Tourist Board has announced that from 3 June British visitors will be able to travel to Italy with no quarantine restrictions.

Full story here

12.10pm: Fishing deal hopes rise

Britain and the European Union might be able to reach a compromise on fisheries by settling on the bloc being handed access to UK waters in exchange for higher quotas for the United Kingdom, according to the Reuters news agency.

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said although an agreement on fisheries was unlikely to be reached by the end of this month, it was a possibility for later in the year.

“I think a deal will be done. I think there is some way to go, that the two sides are very far apart but that’s in the nature of things … My feeling is that a deal will probably emerge in September or October,” he told journalists.

“For me, the compromise lies in access in return for a new sharing arrangement.”

11.45am: P&O cancels cruise season

P&O Cruises has scrapped all sailings until 15 October due to coronavirus.

Full story here

11.30am: ScotRail invests in Aberdeen station

Aberdeen station concourse

ScotRail has announced that an £8 million redevelopment of Aberdeen station will begin later this year.

Full story here

10.30am: Ted Baker founder relinquishes majority ownership

Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin has reduced his stake in the fashion retrailer from 35% to 15.8% following a share placing to raise £95m.

Mr Kelvin’s stake slipped after he bought £3.5m of new shares in the placing in which investment firm Toscafund nearly doubled its stake to 26.4% making it Ted Baker’s biggest shareholder.

10.20am: Student summer support

Scottish Labour has backed calls from university and college students for their financial support to continue throughout the summer months in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Labour is calling for the Scottish Government to work with student bodies, funding agencies and loan companies to make sure students can guarantee their financial security over the summer by continuing to receive student loan and bursary payments.

10.15am: Pryme CEO

Dundee headquartered Pryme Group, which provides integrated manufacturing solutions to a wide range of industry sectors, has appointed Kerrie Murray as chief executive.

Full story here

10am: Oddbins secured

Oddbins, the wine retailer, has been saved after Duff & Phelps sold a substantial part of the business and assets of Whittalls Wine Merchants and associated companies.

The business traded as Oddbins and certain other brands. 

A spokesman for Duff & Phelps said: “The sale was achieved despite the current financial situation and secured the jobs of people employed in 28 stores.”

Shoosmiths acted as legal adviser on the transaction.

9am: HALO and CSIC partnership

The £63m HALO Urban Regeneration Company and Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) have unveiled a partnership to bring smart homes technology to the Kilmarnock project.

The development, on the site of the Johnnie Walker bottling plant, aims to be the first town centre net zero carbon energy project in Scotland.

8.30am: Oil price rises

Oil prices rose ahead of a meeting expected on Thursday of the OPEC oil producing nations that could prompt further output cuts.

Brent crude futures rose 0.94%, or 36 cents, to $38.68 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.73%, or 26 cents, to $35.70 a barrel.

8.10am: London open

The FTSE 100 edged higher in the first minutes of the session following rises on Wall Street and in Asia. It was trading up 12 points (0.19%) at 6,178.13.

7am: Tesco CFO departing


Alan Stewart has decided to retire as chief financial officer of Tesco and leave the Company on 30 April 2021.

The board has begun a search internally and externally to identify a successor.

The company said Mr Stewart, who joined Tesco in September 2014, has played an instrumental role in the turnaround of the company.

“He has led the corporate restructuring, rebuilt the balance sheet, guided Tesco back to investment grade and played a huge role in the financial transformation of the business in the last six years.”

6.50am Markets

Stocks in London are set to extend gains as markets continue to focus on the lifting of lockdowns, shaking off another day of protests in the US.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 index to open 33.48 points higher at 6,199.90 on Tuesday after closing on Monday 89.92 points, or 1.5%, higher at 6,166.42.

6.30am: Insurers should ‘do the right thing’

Insurance companies have been urged to “do the right thing” and make payouts to those whose plans have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labour MP Yvonne Fovargue, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for consumer protection, has made her views known to the finance watchdog — the Financial Conduct Authority – ahead of a court hearing.

“I think insurers should do the right thing and follow the spirit of the policy not just the letter,” she told Yahoo Finance UK.

The FCA has issued guidance to insurers calling on them to treat customers fairly and be mindful of the exceptional circumstances. However, the regulator has left it largely up to the discretion of underwriters when it comes to deciding on payouts.

Weddings and holidays have been cancelled and business owners are also struggling to claim from insurers under business interruption policies.

The FCA has brought a court case to determine whether these policies cover the pandemic. It said the case would provide “clarity and certainty”.

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

Quarantine relaxation on agenda ahead of clampdown

Hunter bootmaker secures £16.5m rescue deal

Sturgeon says Holyrood may need new borrowing powers

SPFL in ‘positive’ talks with asset manager Anderson

Shops demand scrappage scheme and free parking

Monday 5.30pm: Charles River Laboratories

Trade union Unite is offering support to 60 workers whose jobs are under threat after Charles River Laboratories said it will close its biologics operations in Scotland.

The company’s operations are based across two sites in Riccarton and Tranent. The work at the sites focuses on the support of the manufacture and release to market of biopharmaceutical products.

The proposal is to close the operations in stages over the next year with the company citing that Brexit has been the decisive decision to take the work outside of the UK.

Graeme Turnbull, Unite regional officer, said: “This is devasting news for the workforce based at Charles River Laboratories.

“The company is citing Brexit as being the decisive factor in this announcement rather than the Covid-19 pandemic so they have not listened to our pleas to furlough the workers.”

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