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Wednesday Update

DB Live: Gatwick axes 1 in 4 jobs; Breedon tie-up concern

4.45pm: London treads water

Shares in the FTSE 100 index spent the day treading water ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow. The index closed just 8.59 points (0.14%) higher at 6,045.60.

2.30pm: Gatwick slashes jobs

Gatwick airport

Gatwick is to cut 600 jobs across the business, about one in four of employees at the south of England airport. Three-quarters of its remaining staff are on furlough which is due to end in October.

Passenger numbers are more than 80% down on last August and it is currently operating from its North Terminal only.

1.30pm: Mini jobs cut

German carmaker BMW is cutting 400 jobs at its Mini plant in Oxford as demand for new cars slows.

BMW told AFP news agency in mid-June that it will cut around 6,000 of its 120,000-strong workforcer worldwide this year.

10am: Scotland’s deficit higher than NHS budget

Scotland’s deficit is now higher than the entire NHS budget and well above the threshold required for it to re-join the European Union, according to the latest data.

Full story here

8.15am: London flat

The FTSE 100 failed to meet expectations that it would follow Asia and the US with the index falling 40 points at the open before recovering to trade 12 points (0.2%) lower at 6,024.73.

7am: Breedon Cemex alert

Breedon’s proposed purchase of certain assets of Cemex has raised competition concerns as it could result in higher prices for materials in the East of Scotland, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has warned as it set a five-day deadline for the concerns to be addressed.

Provident slips to loss

Doorstep lender Provident Financial fell to a loss in the first half and suspended its interim dividend as customers struggle to pay off debts.

The company, which provides credit to people who do not meet the lending criteria of mainstream banks, reported a pretax loss of £28 million for the six months ended 30 June against a profit of £43.1m last time.

Markets buoyed by talks, oil rises after hurricane

Traders on Wall St (pic: NYSE)

Wall Street continued its record sequence, closing at new highs after news that the US had held “constructive” talks with China on its phase one trade deal and investors waited to hear from the Federal Reserve about its next moves to support the US recovery.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is due to speak at a virtual Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday and investors think he could outline a more accommodative approach to inflation.

Although the market gains were more modest than the previous session, the benchmark S&P 500 closed up 0.4%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.75%.

Only the Dow Jones is yet to reclaim its pre-coronavirus highs. It closed 0.21% lower.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was trading marginally lower (0.1%), while China’s Shanghai Composite is down 0.8% and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was also flat.

The FTSE 100 index reversed much of the previous session’s gains, closing 67.72 points or 1.11% lower at 6,037.01.

Oil jumped to a five-month peak as a hurricane disrupted output in the Gulf of Mexico.

Brent crude futures touched $46.02 a barrel, up 16 cents. US crude futures were steady at $43.35 a barrel, though analysts believe the lift is temporary.

Today’s Agenda

* The GERS data on the Scottish government’s expenditure and revenue is published

* Bars, cafes and restaurants are allowed to re-open in Aberdeen

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

Eat Out: Chancellor urged to extend Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Ferries: Hyslop confirms delays to ferries contract

Property: Real estate sales fall ‘much deeper than expected’

Technology: Logan calls for ‘tech-scalers’ to help fuel recovery

Events support: Volpa owner says Hyslop ‘deluded’ over support

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