|Day's range||5,677.68 - 5,812.12|
|52-week range||4,898.80 - 7,727.50|
The blue-chip index rose 1.9% by 0711 GMT, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell gaining more than 3% ahead of an OPEC+ meeting where the world's largest oil producers are expected to agree to cut production. Stock markets globally have racked up gains this week amid signs that coronavirus death toll was levelling off in the U.S. hotspot of New York and receding in hard-hit regions of Europe. The number of infections and hospital admissions in Britain are beginning to show signs of flattening, a medical director of the National Health Service said on Wednesday.
The Bank of England will expand an overdraft-like facility used by the UK government during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mondi's flexible packaging division, which makes paper bags and kraft paper used for industrial packaging, saw weaker trading in building and construction industries, and improvement in food, beverage and personal care sectors, it said. Mondi, which makes container boards, pulp and corrugated boxes, said it had temporarily stopped production at its Merebank mill in South Africa and its Neusiedler mill in Austria as demand had slumped due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
The UK economy shrank in February, indicating that it was already in a weak position before the coronavirus crisis razed the country.
European stock markets pushed higher Thursday, as investors took in the strong gains on Wall Street overnight but remained cautious ahead of the resumption of talks on how to fund the massive government borrowing needed to support the region's economy through the crisis. The Eurogroup meeting had originally started Tuesday, but disagreements persisted over the conditions for loans to hard-hit countries like Spain and Italy under the eurozone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, as well as whether to issue joint debt known as ‘coronabonds’ as part of a wider recovery plan. In corporate news, UBS (NYSE:UBS) and Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN), Switzerland’s two biggest banks, said Thursday that they had decided to partially postpone the payment of their dividend for 2019 until later this year.
Nearly half of UK-listed companies have cancelled dividends so far this year, according to a report from fund administrator Link Group.
'Meltdown,' 'chaos' and 'freefall' are just a few of the words used by estate agents and surveyors as the coronavirus paralyses the UK housing market.
Rishi Sunak said the new funding would 'support our social fabric' during the coronavirus pandemic, and that the PM's condition was improving.
Unite said many workers will go back to work at its Derby plant with new 'stringent' safety rules, while others face a period of paid leave.
M&S is donating thousands of specially branded T-shirts to form part of the uniform pack for the frontline team at the new NHS Nightingale hospital in London.
(Bloomberg) -- Tesco Plc maintained its plan to pay out a full-year dividend and a 5 billion-pound ($6.2 billion) special payout as the U.K. grocer’s sales soar amid the coronavirus pandemic, even as other companies abandon such payouts.Tesco is in a financially strong position to pay dividends, Chief Executive Officer Dave Lewis said in a rare bit of corporate good news. Thousands of savers and pensioners, who hold fewer than 1,000 shares each, rely on the payouts to supplement their incomes, he said.“We would not pay a dividend if we felt it would jeopardize our ability to serve British shoppers,” he said on a conference call.Tesco reported an extraordinary 30% surge in revenue as shoppers reacted with panic at the prospect of a nationwide lockdown in early March, stockpiling everything from toilet paper to pasta. Lewis said demand has returned to more normal levels and most of the rationing it imposed is no longer necessary. Stock levels have also stabilized, he said Wednesday.Despite surging sales, Lewis said, the grocer’s costs are rising and uncertainty about how long the lockdown will continue means Tesco can’t provide financial guidance on profit for the current year. Reduced income and increased bad debt provisions mean Tesco Bank is also like to report a loss this year.The shares fell as much as 7.7% on Wednesday in London, while the FTSE 100 Index of top British stocks fell as much as 2%.Tesco has added more than 45,000 employees in the last two weeks to cope with demand and cover staff absences due to Covid-19. In recent weeks, up to 50,000 staff have been off ill or isolating at home but that number is starting to reduce now, the grocer said. Tesco forecast its costs will rise by 650 million to 925 million pounds as a result of increased wages and higher distribution and store running costs.This higher cost burden is why Tesco is taking advantage of some of the government support schemes, including a year’s relief from business rates, a property tax, reducing its bill by 585 million pounds. Many companies tapping government support during the crisis have scrapped dividends to avoid the appearance of rewarding shareholders with taxpayers’ underwriting.However, Lewis said its forecast cost increases far outweighed any business rates relief it would receive. He said the grocer is being selective in which government support measures it uses. For example, Tesco isn’t taking advantage of an offer to defer value-added tax.“If we don’t need help from the government then we won’t ask for it,” Lewis said.(Updates with CEO comments in the second and third paragraphs.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Indian stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors locked in some recent gains amid fears of an extension of the coronavirus-led lockdown and its impact on business. Senior officials told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that India's financial hub Mumbai was set to extend lockdown measures until at least April 30. "Globally, things are not great, it is very volatile, there will be pressure and some profit-taking," said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities in New Delhi.
Government support for firms could cost up to £40bn, with BA the latest firm likely to furlough staff after the Unite union backed a deal.
Owning a Cash ISA could be the worst financial decision you make this year. The FTSE 100 is a much better buy says Rupert Hargreaves. The post Forget the Cash ISA! I'd buy the FTSE 100 today appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
Aviva, Hiscox, Direct Line, and RSA all cut payouts to shareholders, piling the pressure on rival Legal & General to do the same.
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The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.5% lower after closing at a near two-week high on Tuesday. Shares of Aviva Plc and Direct Line , RSA and Lloyds of London-member Hiscox fell between 3.8% and 7.9% after saying they were cancelling 2019 investor payouts. Both EU and British regulators had urged restraint on dividend payments and payment of bonuses as a buffer against potential losses from the pandemic.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended up 0.02%, reversing earlier losses of as much as 1.5%. Equities posted a strong start to the week on hopes that the rate of coronavirus infections was plateauing in western Europe and the United States. While the daily death toll rose again in Spain, and France became the fourth country to register more than 10,000 deaths from the virus, Wall Street rallied on hopes that the outbreak was close to its peak in the United States.