Thursday Update

DB Live: Kier loss; Bank holds rates; Wood; ISG Paris deal

9.30pm: Tech falls resume on Wall St

US stocks fell as technology-related shares extended a recent slide and as data showed high levels of weekly jobless claims.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.94 points, or 0.46%, the S&P 500 lost 28.42 points, or 0.84%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 140.19 points, or 1.27%.

4.45pm: London lower

The FTSE 100 clawed back most of the early morning losses to close 28.56 points (0.47%) lower at 6,049.92 as traders continued digest prospects of slow growth and lack of further stimulus from the US.

3.30pm: Koreans swoop on Scotland

Korean investors have swooped once more on Scotland’s commercial property market, acquiring the country’s biggest single industrial unit, currently occupied by Amazon.

Full story here

2.45pm: Chambers chief resigns

British Chambers of Commerce has begun the search for a director general after Adam Marshall announced he will leave the organisation in the Spring.

Full story here

12.15pm: Interest rate decision

The Bank of England has opted to keep the interest rate unchanged at 0.1% and held off further increasing its quantitative easing programme.

11.45pm: Agritech deal

Indoor agritech specialist IGS has announced a significant export deal with experienced French urban agriculturalists, Jungle.

It will introduce IGS indoor growing platforms to Jungle’s operations, initially outside Paris, to grow a variety of crops to supply major French retailers.

The first growth towers will be in production by early 2021, scaling incrementally to a minimum of 17 towers by the end of 2021. 

10am: Kier reports another loss


Kier Group has reported a second year of heavy losses after plunging £273m into the red.

The construction and infrastructure services company made a pre-tax loss of £225.5m in the year to 30 June.

After tax, and with the addition of losses for the year from discontinued operations, the company said its total loss for the year was £273.3m.

Chief executive Andrew Davies said it had been a difficult year for Kier, which was still recovering from a £244.9m pre-tax loss the previous year.

Construction and infrastructure services revenues were down 15% and 10%, respectively.

9.15am: Wood secures Norway contract

Oil services company Wood has secured a $42 million contract from international energy company Equinor, on behalf of operator Gassco, to provide EPCI (engineering, procurement, construction and installation) services at the Kollsnes gas processing plant in Norway.

9am: London open

The FTSE 100 fell sharply at the open, dipping below 6,000, as investors awaited the Bank of England’s interest rate decision and were left disappointed by last night’s US Federal Reserve meeting.

The blue-chip index recovered to trade 41.5 points (0.68%) lower at 6,036.99.

8.06am: Kier figures hit by tech glitch

Kier Group said there has been a “technical issue” with respect to the release of its results for the year ended 30 June 2020. The announcement will be released as soon as possible.

8am: John Lewis reports loss

John Lewis

John Lewis has axed its staff bonus for the first time since 1953 after it made a half-year loss before exceptionals of £55m (2019: £52m), but the chairman has made a pledge to staff and customers.

Full story here

7.03am: Deloitte sanctioned over audit

Deloitte has been fined £15 million and two partners sanctioned by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) following an investigation into the audit of Autonomy Corporation between January 2009 and June 2011.

Full story here

7am: Next online underpins growth

Next Straiton

Profits at fashion retailer Next were all but wiped out in the first half – down 97% from £320m to £9m – but it has revised its forecast sharply upwards to £300m for the full year as the company’s sales performance through the pandemic has been more resilient than expected.

Full story here

Today’s agenda

Bank of England interest rate decision (12:00). The Monetary Policy Committee is not expected to make any changes to the current policy settings, but two of its members may vote for an increase in the size of the quantitative easing programme.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, is in Edinburgh

The Scotland 5G Centre will launch its S5GConnect Programme, delivering the next stage of the Scottish Government’s 5G strategy. Full story here

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