Friday Update

DB Live: Car output falls; borrowing rises; Wizz Air outlook

9pm: Neil quits BBC

Broadcaster Andrew Neil is leaving the BBC after 25 years to join a new 24-hour news channel.

Full story here

4.30pm: London close

Having spent much of the session under water, the FTSE 100 staged a steady rally to close in positive territory at 5,842.67 +19.89 (0.34%).

3pm: Funding support

Michelin Development is urging businesses to apply for newly-available funding to help underpin their growth plans.

Full story here

1.30pm: William Hill confirms takeover speculation

Shares in bookmaker William Hill leapt 19% this morning forcing it to confirm that it has received separate cash proposals from Apollo Management International and Caesars Entertainment.

Following an initial written proposal from Apollo on 27 August, William Hill received a further proposal from Apollo and proposals from Caesars.

In a statement, it said discussions with the respective parties are ongoing.

1pm: Covid defiance

A third of adults say they will cut down on time spent in pubs and restaurants and instead will invite friends to their homes.

Full story here

8.15am: Stocks edge higher

The FTSE 100 moved slightly higher at the end a turbulent week of rising coronavirus cases and new government restrictions.

London’s blue chip index was 14.5 points (0.25%) higher at 5,837.32.


7am: Car production falls

Car production fell in British factories by 45% in August, according to official figures.

Factories produced 51,039 cars last month, which means output for the year for the first eight months of the year was down by nearly 350,000 compared to the same period in 2019, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Output this year looks set to fall by around a third to just under 885,000 vehicles, according to the SMMT.

Wizz Air below capacity

Budget carrier Wizz Air said itexpected to operate at 50% of capacity in October year-on-year, as Covid-19 travel restrictions continued to hit operations.

However, it remained positive on its outlook. “While conditions continue to be challenging, the relentless focus on creating a competitive advantage and strong liquidity will allow Wizz Air to emerge from this crisis as a structural winner,” it said.

Borrowing record

Public borrowing rose to £35.92 billion in August, a record high for the month, though below its peaks earlier in the financial year, as the government dealt with the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The figure pushes the UK‘s national debt to a record £2.024tn.

The budget deficit so far this tax year has overtaken its full-year peak during the global financial crisis.

The government has now borrowed £173.7bn in the five months since the start of the financial year in April, outstripping the previous record of £157.7bn set in the 12 months ending March 2010.

However, the deficit in August was £2bn lower than analysts expected and £8bn below the amount the Office for Budget Responsibility estimated earlier this year.

6.30am: Markets

Shares are expected to end the week on the bounce, following a higher close on Wall Street overnight following renewed stimulus hopes.

IG expects the FTSE 100 to open 40.22 points higher at 5,863.00 after closing 76.48 points, or 1.3%, lower at 5,822.78. The UK blue-chip index is down 3.1% over the week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite is down 0.4%, and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is down 0.2%. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.2% higher, the S&P 500 up 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.4% as investors turned more optimistic on the possibility of a US stimulus bill.

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