DB Live: Boots and Johns Lewis; iomart; Persimmon
4.45pm: London close – Boots and John Lewis cut jobs
London’s top flight closed 106.54 points lower at 6,049.62p following another wave of job cuts by high-profile retailers such as Boots and John Lewis.
Boots is cutting 4,000 jobs – or 7% of its workforce – by closing 48 opticians outlets and reducing staff at its head office in Nottingham.
The company sales at its core outlets dived 72% and sales at Boots Opticians slumped 48% during the coronavirus lockdown on the high street.
John Lewis confirmed it is planning to permanently close eight of its 50 stores with the likely loss of 1,300 jobs.
4pm: Forbes cuts LBTT
Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes unveiled a cut in the cost of buying a home just two days after the government ruled out such a move.
11am: Iomart adds jobs
Cloud computing company iomart is creating 20 roles in its technical support teams in its Glasgow head office and in London.
iomart, which has a staff of 400 in Glasgow, has required no support from the government’s furlough scheme during the lockdown.
Reece Donovan, chief operating officer, said: “We are proud to have provided critical services and ensured business continuity, helping our customers and supporting our staff through the pandemic.
“As the economy moves into a new phase, we want to invest in talented people who have the skills we need to move our business to the next stage of growth.”
8.15am: London open
After opening higher and touching 6177, the FTSE 100 was trading a touch lower at 6,141.48. down 14.68 (0.24%).
The housebuilder said it has seen encouraging sales levels throughout the period, in particular over the last six weeks when net reservations have been c. 30% ahead year on year.
“We enter the second half in a strong position, with work in progress well advanced, forward sales c. 15% ahead year on year, and cash holdings of c. £830m.”
Persimmon’s total revenues for the first six months of 2020 were £1.19bn (2019: £1.75bn)
Aerospace engineer Rolls-Royce says it has received more than 3,000 expressions of interest for voluntary severance in the UK with approximately two-thirds of these currently expected to leave by the end of August.
Traders are hoping momentum from the US and Asia overnight continues into London stocks following recent losses.
Spread betters expect the FTSE 100 index of large-caps to open 28.84 points higher at 6,185 after closing 33.74 points lower at 6,156.16 on Wednesday.
The Nikkei 225 index in Japan is up 0.6%. In China, the Shanghai Composite is up 1.3%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is up 0.5%.
6am: Burger King warning
Fast food chain Burger King’s UK boss Alasdair Murdoch has warned that the company may have to permanently close up to 10% of its stores.
That puts 1,600 jobs at risk. Only about 370 of the restaurant chain’s 530 UK stores have reopened since the nation went into lockdown.
* First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will announce the next round of changes to the lockdown
* Rolls-Royce expected to update on its job cut plans
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