Collapse of retail sales; index reached by hopes for treatment of destroyed coronaviruses


Retail sales fell a record 5.1% in March – although analysts expect the worst to happen in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.

“Stores were already suffering before the coronavirus due to the change in consumer behavior. An increasing number of people are turning away from the main street and shopping online, which offers more convenience and ease, “said Dr. Kerstin Braun of Stenn Group, a trade finance provider.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has only accentuated the decline of the main street and is likely to accelerate these inevitable changes, with heavy street traffic experiencing its sharpest decline ever recorded. “

The retail sector was largely unperturbed, with the stock prices of the industry’s big hitters having changed little in the first trade.

Bombarded Marks & Spencer () actually found some support from bargain hunters as a 2.3% boost.

The FTSE 100 opened significantly lower after hopes of a drug giant had found a cure for coronaviruses were dashed.

Gildes Science’s remdesivir would have succeeded in a small-scale trial; However, according to leaked documents, he failed in a larger Chinese deployment.

At the top of the list, aeronautical engineers Meggitt () and Melrose (), which were down 4.8% and 4.6% respectively in a context of liquidity fears.

Not far behind, struggling airlines IAG () and easyJet (), down 4% and 3.6% as hopes of quickly ending the lockdown declined. The stuffing around having to potentially leave the center seat vacant when the planes return to the air also added to the mix.

6:31 a.m .: FTSE 100 is set to open lower

Actions should open lower as one of the hopes for a vaccine to treat the coronavirus (COVID-19) exploded during a trial.

Betting quotes on the spread indicate that the FTSE 100 will open 108 points less at 5,719.

Draft documents accidentally released by the World Health Organization claimed that remdesivir, a drug developed by Gilead Sciences, had failed in a Chinese trial to improve the condition of patients infected with COVID-19.

“We think the message contains inappropriate characterizations from the study,” said a spokesperson for Gilead.

The spokesman said the trial ended prematurely due to the low enrollment rate and was therefore not statistically significant.

US markets were mixed yesterday, the Dow Jones rising 39 points to 23,515 while the S&P 500 plunged a few points to 2,798.

The Asian markets are soft this morning. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 lost 155 points to 19,275, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng lost 66 points to 23,911.

Returning to the UK today will see the release of official UK retail sales data from early March to April 4 at 7:00 a.m.

With most stores forced to close on March 24, as the country entered the coronavirus shutdown, the numbers are expected to be grim.

“The title should be read -4%, which would be a big drop compared to -0.3% published in February. The reading that removes the fuel should be -3.5%, “said David Madden of CMC.

Blue-chip scheduled updates are slim in the field, but there will be a quarterly update from (), which announced last month that it was suspending its share buyback program to better manage cash during the coronavirus pandemic.

Educational publisher and test center operator, still awaiting the appointment of a new general manager to replace outgoing boss John Fallon, said he had seen a “significant increase” in the use of his digital products and its online learning services.

This was offset by the closure of physical sites due to the virus, with an estimated impact of £ 25-35 million on operating profit if its VUE test centers are closed until mid-April.

With the expiration of this time, analysts have assumed that no reopening for three months will have an impact on operating profit of approximately £ 80 million, as well as an additional £ 30 million on student testing. Americans this year and this back to school break. The US college period later in the year will drop tutorials by 15%, down from the 10.6% previously enrolled.

Anticipating a positive impact for Global Online Learning and a positive movement of £ 30 million in foreign currency, this results in a combined drop of £ 116 million, or 26%, in 2020, then a drop of 17% in 2021.

Important announcements expected:

Trading announcements: (), PLC (), ()

AGA: PLC (), (), ()

Economic data: American Michigan consumer sentiment

Around the markets

  • Pound Sterling: US $ 1.2345, n / c
  • Gilding at 10 years: 0.294% yield, down 3.16 basis points
  • Gold: US $ 1,745.80 per ounce, up 40 cents
  • Crude Brent: US $ 25.74 per barrel, up 85 cents
  • Bitcoin: $ 7,523 US, down 34 cents

Business titles

Financial times

Chancellor Rishi Sunak caved in under pressure from Conservative MPs and offered to offer 100% loan guarantees on Britain’s smallest businesses.

Germany has been warned by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel not to spoil its success in containing the spread of the coronavirus by moving too fast to lift its blocking measures

, A Russian state-controlled oil producer, is expected to close its trading arm.

The temperature

More than one in four workers have been temporarily laid off in the UK, according to official figures which highlight the depth of the problems facing the economy.

AJ Bell, one of Britain’s largest investment platforms, has attracted a record number of customers and £ 1.3 billion in new money despite the chaos in the financial markets.

According to the CBI, all companies should be given three months’ leave on business rates as part of nearly £ 16bn in potential new aid.

Equinor has become the first major oil company to cut its dividend due to difficult industry conditions.

said the coronavirus lockdown worldwide has shut down about 55% of its business.

Hundreds of British aerospace jobs are cut after engineer Meggitt says it is cutting 15% of its workforce and Safran, the French group, has announced layoffs in factories in England and the UK Wales.

The dispute between Hiscox and some of its business customers over insurance payments intensified after angry policyholders prepared to take legal action against the insurer.

Sources say Apple may start releasing Mac computers with its own chips from next year, abandoning Intel’s processor.

The Daily Telegraph

The eurozone could sink into a new financial crisis after a devastating fall in production this month when economic activity is almost at a standstill, experts warned.

Distressed stores, restaurants and pubs hit by coronavirus foreclosure must be protected from “aggressive” actions by landlords to recover unpaid rent under the new rules.

German airline Lufthansa is facing a severe liquidity crisis and is demanding an urgent bailout from the state from various European governments.

The Guardian

The UK is looking to borrow £ 225 billion from bond market investors in just four months to finance the huge increase in public spending during the coronavirus pandemic.

Big names in retail, car manufacturing and manufacturing in Britain have announced plans to return to work, saying companies are set to revive an economy crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic will trigger “lasting changes” in purchasing behavior, according to Unilever.

Daily Mail

Blackmore Bond, another savings company offering so-called mini-bonds, has fallen under administration.


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