Daily Business Live

Covid surge weighs on market | Burberry sales soar


5pm: Rising Covid cases weigh on market

Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, said:“‘Freedom Day’ [in England] might be looming but it’s hard to stay optimistic when the UK has just recorded its highest number of new COVID cases since mid-January.

“But a few companies have managed to cling onto early gains with the much shorted Cineworld finally enjoying a bit of love from investors either looking to take advantage of what’s been a terrible week for the company or to squeeze the position of those short sellers.

“Whatever happens down the road, the next destination on the Boris Johnson’s map should make life a little easier for the hospitality sector and shares in some of those businesses have reflected that potential. Whitbread, Wetherspoons, Mitchells and Butlers have all made gains as has Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group.

“But normal might not be quite so normal for the hundreds of thousands of people who will have to forgo a pint in the pub this weekend in order to isolate. For them “Freedom Day” will leave a rather sour taste.”

The FTSE 100 spent the session in positive territory until mid-afternoon and closed almost flat at 7,008.09, down 3.93 points.

8.30am: London opens higher

The FTSE 100 gained in early trade, boosted by optimism about economic re-opening next week.

The blue-chip index rose 0.4%, with retailers Unilever and Diageo among the biggest gainers.

7am: Burberry doubles revenue

Luxury fashion brand Burberry reported sales for the 13 weeks to 26 June up 86% to £479m despite more than 10% of its stores remaining closed due to Covid restrictions.

However, the FTSE 100 retailer said 35% of stores are still operating on reduced hours and business in Europe and much of Asia is “still heavily impacted by the significant decline of international tourist traffic.”

The British brand, which is searching for a replacement for departing boss Marco Gobbetti, has launched a new campaign starring model Naomi Campbell.

The collection has been designed by the brand’s chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci.

7am: AMTE Power gigafactory on track

Kevin Brundish

Thurso-based battery developer AMTE Power said it had been a successful 12 months and its plans for the establishment of its gigafactory are on track.

For the period under review the company said it is pleased to confirm that it expects revenue and total reported losses after tax to be in line with market expectations.

Full story here

7am: Nucleus AUA rises

Nucleus, the Edinburgh wrap platform awaiting FCA clearance of its takeover by James Hay, said assets under administration for the three months to 30 June rose by 19.2% to £18.9 billion. This was 5.1% higher than the previous quarter.

By comparison, the FTSE All-Share Index increased 17.7% year-on-year and by 4.8% on the last quarter.

Full story here

Global markets

Japan shares led losses in Asia-Pacific region after the Bank of Japan cut its 2021 economic growth forecast and kept interest rates steady.

The Japanese central bank added that it will closely monitor the impact of the ongoing pandemic and will not hesitate to take additional easing measures to support the economy.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 is off 184 points but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 155 points to the good.

US stocks were a mixed bag yesterday with the Dow Jones 30-share index up 54 points while the S&P 500 fell 14 points to 4,360.

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