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Friday Update

DB Live: Trump taken to hospital; FM slams Covid MP

10pm: Trump treated in military hospital

US President Donald Trump was moved to a military hospital for treatment after being diagnosed with COVID-19, as his condition has put his election campaign on hold.

Mr Trump, 74, who was said to be having breathing difficulties, will spend the next few days at the centre in Maryland as a precautionary measure, an official said.

The White House said he was being admitted for tests “out of an abundance of caution” after he developed a fever, congestion and a cough. 

White House doctor Sean P. Conley wrote that Mr Trump “remains fatigued but in good spirits.”

He is expected to remain in hospital for a few days and will continue working.

The President tweeted: “Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!”

The First Lady Melania is also suffering from Covid-19, but her condition was much less severe.

Vice president Mike Pence, who could assume presidential duties if Mr Trump became too ill to perform them, tested negative on Friday. He has returned to Washington DC.

4.30pm: London edges higher at close

After spending all day in the red, the FTSE 100 edged back into positive territory and closed 22.67 points (0.39%) higher at 5,902.12.

12.25pm: FM condemns Covid MP Ferrier

Nicola Sturgeon says SNP MP Margaret Ferrier’s decision to take two long train journeys while Covid positive was “reckless, dangerous and indefensible”.

She says she does not have the power to sack Ms Ferrier, but has asked her to resign.

She said Ms Ferrier was a friend so her comments and response to her behaviour were said with “a heavy heart”.


11am: More jobs to go at bus plant

Bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis is to axe a further 70 jobs in addition to the 200 job cuts previously announced at its Falkirk base in Scotland. 

Trade union Unite has said that nearly 300 of the 850 workers will lose their jobs.

Unite has criticised Scottish Secretary Alistair Jack for not responding to an invitation to meet workplace representatives.

The union is demanding:

– The UK Government immediately brings forward the promised funding for 4,000 low-emission buses through a £3 billion fund. 

– The Scottish Government enacts the Just Transition Committee’srecommendation to rapidly roll-out spending of the £500 million committed to prioritise buses.

– A Scottish-wide bus scrappage scheme is introduced to replace older diesel buses with low emission and zero-emission buses.

– The immediate procuring of a fleet of green buses for use at COP26 in Glasgow next November.

10.40am: LV= turns to Bain

Following speculation of a deal involving Royal London, LV= has revealed it is in exclusive talks with Bain Capital over the sale of its remaining pensions and insurance business.

On Monday LV= confirmed it was in discussions with “other parties” and and today a spokesman said: “Discussions between LV= and Bain Capital are on-going and there can be no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor any certainty as to the terms on which any such transaction might proceed.

“Any transaction would also be subject to regulatory approval. The two organisations will make further announcements if and when appropriate.”

8am: London open

The FTSE 100 opened 61.44 points (1.05%) lower at 5,818.01.


US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19, the president tweeted, after confirming that Hope Hicks, a top adviser who travelled with him earlier this week, had tested positive for the virus.

He said: “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this together!”

It will mean Mr Trump being confined to the White House during the next two weeks of the US presidential election, possibly including cancellation of the next debate against Democrat Joe Biden scheduled for 15 October in Miami.

It is also is likely to put some pressure on US index futures and European indices.


Ryanair said it operated approximately 53% of its normal September schedule with a 71% load factor.


The FTSE 100 was forecast to open 58 points lower at around 5,821 ahead of the release this afternoon of US jobs figures for September.

Increases in new jobs have been receding in recent months, prompting some economists to believe the economy is stalling.

However, US markets were buoyant yesterday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 35 points and the S&P 500 climbing 18 points.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was off 19 points while Hong Kong was closed for a market holiday.

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

SNP MP suspended for train trips after positive Covid test

Edinburgh’s Christmas goes online to avoid crowds

Comment: Day is dawning when we may have to let some companies go

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