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Thursday Update

DB Live: BA owner posts €1.3bn loss; Covid weighs on markets

REFRESH PAGE FOR UPDATES

5pm: Travel safe list extended

The Canary Islands, the Maldive, Denmark and the Greek island of Mykonos have been added to the government’s safe travel list, meaning those arriving into Britain from these territories will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days after 04:00 BST on Sunday.

But Lichtenstein has been taken off the list, meaning arrivals must isolate.

The changes apply to citizens from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

4.30pm: Traders boosted by US and Sunak

The FTSE 100 index turned positive at the close as traders were buoyed by Rishi Sunak’s package of support for business and positive comments emerging from Washington on the stimulus package.

Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker, said they were “nearly there” in relation to an agreement on the coronavirus (Covid-19) relief package, which prompted a bout of pre-close buying for London.

Britain’s top share index closed the afternoon session up around nine points at 5,785.65, up 9.15 points (0.16%).

4pm: Edinburgh Woollen Mill delay

Edinburgh Woollen Mill is expected to delay its administration by asking for a 10-day extension of creditor protection as it tries to strike a rescue deal.

Owner Philip Day, who is a secured creditor for the group, is said to be working on plans to buy back some of the business in a pre-pack deal.

That decision would rely on him receiving the financial backing of American fund Davidson Kempner.

1.30pm: Legal action over restrictions

Five of Scotland’s Hospitality Industry bodies are taking legal action against the Scottish government’s restrictions on the licensed trade.

Full story here

Noon: Chancellor unveils new support

Employers will see their contribution to staff wages sharply cut under a new package of measures announced by the Chancellor to support businesses.

Full story here

8.20am: Scots deal in Lithuania

A Scottish start-up which develops technology to keep consumers safe online has struck a deal with the Lithuanian government to crack down on illicit trade.

Vistalworks will spearhead closer ties between Scotland and Lithuania’s GovTech Lab, which encourages innovative solutions to help governments address a range of challenges.

8.15am: Lockdown Christmas

People should get their digital Christmas ready, says Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, speaking about prospects for easing lockdown over the festive period.

Full story here

8am: FTSE falls further

The FTSE 100 continued its decline, falling 54.71 points (0.95%) to 5,721.79 as virus lockdowns spread concern over economic activity.

British Airways pic

7am: BA owner plunges to Q3 loss

British Airways owner IAG plummeted to a €1.3 billion third quarter operating loss before exceptional items compared to a €1.4 billion profit last year.

Total revenue declined by 83% to €1.2bn compared to €7.3bn last year.

It said recent overall bookings have not developed as previously expected due to additional measures implemented by many European governments in response to a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

This includes an increase in local lockdowns and extension of quarantine requirements to travellers from an increasing number of countries.

At the same time, initiatives designed to replace quarantine periods and increase customer confidence to book and travel, such as pre-departure testing and air corridor arrangements, have not been adopted by governments as quickly as anticipated.

IAG now plans for capacity in Q4 to be no more than 30% compared to 2019. As a result, the group no longer expects to reach breakeven in terms of net cash flows from operating activities during Q4.

Daily Mail and General Trust

The media group’s board estimates adjusted revenue will be about £1.2 billion and adjusted operating profit in the range of £85-90m.  

This was achieved without any government support, including furlough schemes and by stronger than expected September profit from Consumer Media, which benefited from advertising revenue being above expectations; and Landmark, its UK Property Information business.

Full year results will be published on 23 November.

Overnight markets

Sterling rose to a one-week high against the dollar after the European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said a new trade deal with Britain was “within reach”.

The pound rose 1.7% to $1.3172, its highest since 7 September, and against the euro by 0.6% to 90.8 pence on the comments.

Uncertainty over a US stimulus package and further Covid restrictions saw equities fall around the world.

European shares fell for a third straight session, while in the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%, the S&P 500 by 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite by 0.3%.

Today’s agenda

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce new business support measures

Brexit talks will resume

Sport:

Standard Liege v Rangers
Celtic v AC Milan

Other Daily Business headlines

BiFab yards again denied as turbine work lost

Pubs hit out at ‘lack of consultation’ on shutdown



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