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Apple, Facebook, Tesla rise; Footsie falls; Brewin Dolphin up

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10.30pm: Sales rise at US giants

Apple, Facebook and Tesla beat Wall Street expectations in quarterly figures released after Wall Street closed.

The new Apple iPhone helped push handset revenue to a new record. Group revenue for the quarter ended 26 December rose by 21% to $111.44 billion.

Facebook said total revenue, which comprises primarily of advertising income, rose to $28.07 billion in the fourth quarter ended 31 December from $21.08 billion, a year earlier.

Tesla said quarterly revenue rose to $10.74 billion from $7.38 billion a year earlier.

The Federal Reserve left its key overnight interest rate near zero and made no change to its monthly bond purchases.

6pm: European border restrictions

European countries are again restricting travel across their borders with Belgium banning non-essential travel from today, France and Italy demanding negative tests from all EU visitors and Germany looking at ways to cut air traffic to “almost zero”. 

EU travel restrictions have gone beyond sealing off the UK and are now curtailing free movement across the continent.

UK hauliers are allowed more rapid screening to cross into and out of France.

4.30pm: London falls on Covid measures

Shares in London fell sharply this afternoon after further lockdown measures were announced.

The FTSE 100 closed at 6,567.37, off its lows at 86.64 (1.30%), with miners and construction stocks falling the most, while AstraZeneca slid by nearly 2.2%.

Retailers slipped 0.3% after reporting the biggest annual drop in prices since May.

Defence contractor Babcock was off 1.52% after a downgrade to ‘underweight’ from ‘overweight’ at Barclays, which said a capital raise was likely.

The FTSE 100 closed firmly in the red

Traders are looking ahead to the meeting of the US Federal Open Market Committee which will conclude at 1900 GMT, followed by Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference. The central bank is widely expected to keep rates unchanged.

There will also be earnings figures after the New York market closes from Apple, Facebook and Tesla.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1% lower, the S&P 500 index down 1.1% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.8%.

Brent oil was quoted at $56.27 a barrel at the London close, up from $55.87 at yesterday’s close.

1.30pm: Schools stay shut

Schools in Scotland are expected to stay shut next month after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there is “not enough data to know when it will be safe to reopen our society and economy”.

Full story here

10am: GDP shrinks

Scotland’s economy for November was 7.1% smaller than it was pre-COVID-19, while over the same period the UK economy has shrunk by 8.5%, according to the latest official data. 

Full story here

Tempest brewery

9.40am: Funds for brewers, travel agents and football centres

Three new funds have been launched to support businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Full story here

9.30am: Nearly a million companies at risk

More than 900,000 small businesses are at risk of permanently closing, with 2.5 million jobs under threat, according to new research

The ending of Government support programmes like the furlough scheme could see a huge uplift in failures, the Centre for Economic Performance and the Alliance for Full Employment warned.  

9am: Lomond acquisitions

Scottish estate agency and lettings group Lomond has announced the completion of four acquisitions following the recent announcement of its merger with Linley & Simpson.

Full story here

8am: London lower

The FTSE 100 opened 54 points lower before rebounding to trade about 7 points down at 6,646.71.

7am: Brewin Dolphin improving

Brewin Dolphin CEO Robin Beer said the wealth manager is benefiting from improving market sentiment.

Total funds increased by 8% over the first quarter to a record £51.4bn (FY 2020: £47.6bn), with total discretionary funds up 8.3% to £44.6bn (FY 2020: £41.2bn), supported by strong investment performance.

Mr Beer said: “We had a strong start to our financial year and saw growth across both our direct and indirect business.

“We are consistently delivering positive inflows, even with the tightened social distancing restrictions imposed in November and December 2020.

“With a Brexit trade deal behind us and the rollout of vaccinations in the UK, market sentiment is starting to improve, and we look forward to benefiting from this recovery over the coming year.”

Nissan job cuts

Nissan is to cut about 160 mainly office-based jobs at its Sunderland plant in an an efficiency drive.

The expected cuts, reported by Sky News, follow its decision last week to commit to the UK after accepting the terms of the Brexit deal.

The Japanese carmaker is planning for an all-electric future in its key markets and is planning to invest in battery production in Sunderland.

Markets

The FTSE 100 was expected to start lower as investors await earnings figures from US tech giants as well as the outcome of the first meeting this year of the Federal Reserve.

European stocks are expected to fall back, with FTSE futures shedding 0.4%, amid concern over extended lockdowns and slippage in the global economy.

The tech sector remained a bright spot after Microsoft’s earnings lifted Nasdaq futures 0.5% while Japan’s Nikkei also rose 0.3%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.07%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.15% and the Nasdaq fell 0.07%.



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