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Thursday Update

DB Live: easyJet set for loss; markets up on stimulus hopes

4.30pm: Oil and equities higher

Oil was up slightly, backing off a session high of more than $43 a barrel reached on support from output shutdowns ahead of a storm in the US Gulf of Mexico and the prospect of more supply losses in Norway. Brent crude was up 86 cents, or 2%, to $42.85 barrel at 11:15 EDT (1515 GMT), after falling 1.6% on Wednesday – Reuters.

The FTSE 100 index closed up 31.78 points, or 0.5%, at 5,978.03 after US President Donald Trump highlighted the potential for a pre-election stimulus.

TalkTalk closed up 17% following a £1.1 billion takeover approach from shareholder Toscafund Asset Management.

The offer for TalkTalk’s entire share capital is priced at 97p per share, has a full unlisted share alternative, and is to be made by a newly formed company.

1.30pm: Covid response jobs

US life sciences company Thermo Fisher Scientific is expanding its operations in Scotland as part of a global response to the Covid pandemic.

Full story here

12.30pm: Spirits raised in Stirling

A new £15 million Scotch whisky distillery has been proposed for Stirling which could see the creation of 50 full-time jobs.

Full story here

8.15am: Markets lifted by stimulus hopes

The FTSE 100 opened 20 points higher before settling just in positive territory in early trade at 5,953.51 +7.26 (0.12%).

Global markets were encouraged by US President Donald Trump’s hints at a gradual stimulus programme.

Easyjet

EasyJet losses

easyJet expects to report a group headline loss before tax in the range of £815 to £845 million for the financial year 2020.

The board will not be recommending the payment of a dividend in respect of the year to 30 September 2020.

Based on current travel restrictions in the markets in which it operates, easyJet expects to fly c.25% of planned capacity for Q1 2021. 

Passenger numbers for the full year fell by 50% to 48 million, in line with a decrease in capacity of 48% to 55 million seats.  Load factor for the full year will decrease by 4.3 percentage points to 87.2%. 

Capacity in the fourth quarter was 38% of previously planned levels with easyJet flying nine million passengers during the period with a load factor of 76.3%.  Total group revenue for the quarter ending 30 September was c.£620 million. 

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “The UK Government urgently needs to step up with a bespoke package of measures to ensure airlines are able to support economic recovery when it comes.

“easyJet came into this crisis in a very strong position thanks to its strong balance sheet and consistent profitability. This year will be the first time in its history that easyJet has ever made a full year loss.

Markets

Wall Street rallied after US President Donald Trump threw his support behind a gradual stimulus package for the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 1.9%, the S&P 500 was 1.7% higher and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.9%.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 to open 8.25 points higher at 5,954.50 after closing down 3.69 points, or 0.1%, at 5,946.25 on Wednesday.

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