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Monday Update

DB Live: Boots’ Covid test; bank dividends; HSS funds

REFRESH PAGE FOR UPDATES

4.30pm: US slump drags FTSE lower

Wall Street fell sharply at the open as hopes faded for a fresh round of fiscal aid and the number of coronavirus cases across the US surged by 79,303 on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has plummeted more than 830 points, nearly 3%, which would be its worst percentage drop since 11 June. The the S&P 500 declined 83 points (2.4%) and the Nasdaq Composite fell 251 points, or 2.2%.

The slump dragged the FTSE100 below the 5,800 threshold to close 68.27 points (1.16%) down at 5,792.01. FTSE 250 dropped 254 points (1.4%) to 17,855.5.

CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden said “During the summer months … there was a view that governments had a handle on the crisis. Now there is a feeling that countries are struggling to contain the health emergency.”

10am: Mull hotel investment

Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, owned by Crerar Hotels, is to undergo a £3 million redevelopment into a four-star 72-bed establishment with the aim of re-opening next April.

It will create 20 full-time jobs and brings Crerar’s total recent investment in its portfolio to more than £11million.

8.15am: FTSE hit by virus woes

The FTSE 100 fell as expected with economies likely to be impacted by tighter restrictions to try to control the spread of coronavirus.

The index was trading 27.06 points (0.46%) lower at 5,833.22.

7am: HSS Hire capital raise

HSS Hire proposes raising gross proceeds of up to £54 million through a Placing and Open Offer in the coming weeks and has secured commitments from three of its major shareholders to subscribe c.£43.5m for company shares as part of the capital raise.

6am: Boots unveils Covid test

Boots is expected to unveil a coronavirus testing service it says can return results in 12 minutes.

The pharmacy chain says the in-store swab tests will will be rolled out in selected stores over the next few weeks.

Boots has already launched a 48-hour testing service which is currently available in stores in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Birmingham, and Manchester.

Seb James, managing director of Boots UK and ROI, told PA Media the programme was being implemented as a way to help ease the pressure on the NHS.

“Offering this new in-store service is the next step in our efforts to fight against the pandemic,” he said.

Bank dividends

The Bank of England is considering plans to allow banks to start paying dividends again next year.

A deal could allow banks to make shareholder payouts as long as their loss-absorbing capital buffers are strong and they continue to extend credit to the real economy, The Times newspaper said.

Markets

The FTSE 100 looks set to open lower amid fading hopes that a stimulus bill will be signed ahead of next week’s US presidential election.

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

Celtic Renewables crowdfunds to back green tech

RBS leads call for fund to support growth firms

More people, more rail: SNP plan for rural economy

Edinburgh cafe is latest to defy closure order

Arts venues share £2.25m as Labour attacks freelance hit



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