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Airport ‘liquid’; Wood secures China deal; Kingfisher upbeat

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4.30pm: London lower

The FTSE 100 quickly gave up its small opening gain as virus worries continued to weigh. The index closed 44.37 points lower at 6,754.11.

4pm: Shops and jobs saved

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the clothing retailer with roots in Scotland, has been bought out of administration.

Full story here

2.30pm: John Lewis joins mask action

John Lewis has halted click and collect at its department stores in an effort to control the Covid pandemic.

Full story here

2pm: Shell job cuts

Royal Dutch Shell is to cut 330 jobs in north east Scotland as part of global cutbacks announced last year.

Full story here

Glasgow Airport

8.30am: Glasgow Airport ‘sufficiently liquid’

Glasgow Airport believes it will have sufficient liquidity during the year despite current passenger volumes being down by an estimated 90% compared to the same time last year.

The company has access to funding within the AGS group, which also owns Aberdeen and Southampton Airports, as well as external debt facilities which are due for renewal next year.

It said its lenders had agreed to waive covenants on these facilities because of current circumstances.

It has also secured further funding under its working capital and capital expenditure facilities.

8am: Market opening

London’s blue chip index opened slightly higher, up 9 points at 6,807.36 as Covid worries continued to weigh on sentiment.

B&Q store

7am: Kingfisher upbeat

B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher expects current year profits to be at the top end of forecasts as fourth quarter like-for-like sales rose 16.9%, driven by people purchasing online amid tightening coronavirus restrictions.

Chief executive Thierry Garnier said: “Longer term, we are confident that the strategic and operational actions we are taking are building a strong foundation for sustainable long-term growth. We also believe that the renewed focus on homes is supportive for our markets.”

Menzies Aviation

Menzies ‘more competitive’

Menzies chairman and chief executive Philipp Joeinig said the aviation services company has ‘not wasted” the pandemic crisis and has used it to make the Edinburgh-based firm more competitive.

Full story here

Wood China deal

Aberdeen oil services and engineering company Wood has secured a $120 million contract with Sinopec Hainan Refining and Chemical Company (Sinopec) to expand its refinery development in the Hainan Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in South China.

The work will be delivered by Wood’s engineering and project management teams based in Shanghai and on site.

Markets

The FTSE 100 is expected to make a cautious start as investors ponder growing coronavirus cases and the effects of restrictions.

London’s blue chip index closed almost 75 points or 1.1% to finish at 6,798.48.

UK retail sales in 2020, released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), fell 0.3%, the biggest decline since records began in 1995, as the effect of lockdowns on non-essential shops outweighed a switch to online spending. December sales, however, were up 1.8% on the year before, up from 0.9% in November.

Wall Street shared Europe’s selling session, with the Dow Jones slipping 89 points or 0.3%.

The was S&P 500 was 0.7% lower and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.25%.



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