The London heavyweight stocks index rose 193 points (3.4%) to 5,822, barely a dozen points below its high point of the day.
- FTSE 100 up to 193 points
- Sentiment was boosted by the flow of good news on the coronavirus front (COVID-19)
- Gilead Sciences to open significantly higher in the United States after encouraging results for COVID-19 treatment
11:15 am: Stream of good news on the coronavirus front
The Footsie started again in the second half of the morning.
The London heavyweight stocks index rose 193 points (3.4%) to 5,822, barely a dozen points below its high point of the day.
The sentiment was sparked by numerous indications that humanity could win the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The major European economies, along with the United States and Canada, manage to“ flatten the curve ”of the coronavirus. The number of daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 has plateaued in the west, “observed Berenberg Economics.
“Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced a series of guidelines for states to lift the restrictions. It is up to each state to decide when to act. While some states will start to open with caution sooner than others, as you would expect, expect most to wait until early May, “continued the German finance house. .
“In Germany, most small stores will reopen on Monday while other school restrictions will be gradually lifted from May 4. While Spain and Italy have eased the restrictions slightly, most measures will remain until early / mid-May – as in the United Kingdom and France. Subsequently, expect these countries to gradually lift some key restrictions – probably along the lines indicated by Germany, “he added.
In the United States, Gilead Sciences stocks rose about a sixth in the aftermarket after initial data from its coronavirus drug Remdesivir were described as “very encouraging”.
“It’s not really a vaccine, but anything that can help end blockages and advance savings quickly is a huge advantage,” said Neil Wilson at markets.com. at 0.645%.
10:00 am: Optimism abounds
It’s definitely a day of “risk” with stocks flying high and gold in the doldrums.
The FTSE 100 rose 126 points (2.2%) to 5,755 while gold for May delivery is US $ 17.20 cheaper on the futures market at US $ 1,705.50 an ounce.
The feeling has been reinforced by the growing hope that the end of the blockages is on the horizon.
If this is true – and that’s a big “if” – then the demand for delivery services is likely to take off, which is why the grocery delivery service () and the fast messenger Just Eat Takeaway. com () occupy the cellar locations on the Footsie; Ocado was down 2.4% at 1,560.6p and Just Eat was $ 1.8 lighter at 7,886p.
The car sales web portal operator () was a little slow to get out of the lights after updating his coronavirus (COVID019).
The shares rose 0.9% – underperforming the Footsie – to 429.1p after the company said it would continue to offer free advertising to its customers while the lock remained in place.
8:40 a.m .: Friday advance
On Friday, the FTSE 100 got off to a good start in the hope that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) could be over.
The UK blue chip index opened 144 more points to 5,772.73.
WATCH: Morning Report: FTSE 100 boosted as Gilead coronavirus drug shows promising signs
The gradual easing of blockages in Germany, Spain, Austria and Italy has sparked cautious optimism, as has the revelation that one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies has found an effective COVID-19 treatment.
Overnight reports suggest that the drug from Gilead Life Sciences helped 125 patients recover quickly.
This means that data showing China’s dismal economic performance at the height of the Wuhan epidemic has been largely overlooked. Still, the numbers were pretty poor, with the world’s second largest economy shrinking 6.8% worse than expected in the first three months of the year.
After a rally in airline stocks early Thursday, there was follow-up optimism about the outlook for companies that supply parts and service fleets for British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair.
Thus, Melrose (LON: MLRO), owner of, flew 9.8% higher, while the engine manufacturer Rolls Royce () rose 9%.
Growing hopes that the lockdown could be eased here in the UK in three weeks gave new life to Cineworld (), which jumped 18% at first.
Flutter Entertainment () rose 7.5% after what, at first glance, was a dreadful performance, with sporting revenues of 46%.
“Since the lockdown, the company’s online gaming components have held up relatively well, with consumers changing their habits, at least temporarily,” said title manager Richard Hunter of Interactive Investor of Flutter.
“As a sign of prudence and confidence, the company’s decision to proceed with the dividend in the form of shares rather than cash is a fairly elegant solution to the problem faced by so many other companies, which have largely chosen to withdraw from making distributions at this time. “
Proactive news headlines:
() was selected by the cricket broadcaster Willow TV to host the eCricket Challenge, a series that will see cricketers compete in the video game Cricket 19. The series, designed and developed by Gfinity, will see some of the most big names in world cricket compete from a distance in five games.
(OTCQX: ANPCY) said a study from the University of Athens showed that its liquid biopsy was superior to a cutting-edge antibody approach when it came to harvesting circulating tumor cells (CTC) from people with head and neck cancer. The researchers took blood from 50 patients and 18 healthy volunteers. Published data has revealed that the use of ANGLE technology has resulted in much higher CTC harvest positivity rates, purer samples and “excellent” RNA quality for molecular analysis.
() has agreed to acquire the remaining 40% stake in market watchdog Irisium Ltd which it does not already own Cinnober Financial Technology for a convertible loan of £ 550,000. The risk management specialist, who acquired his initial 60% stake in Irisium for £ 1.7 million in June 2018, said that consolidating the remaining stake will allow the company to be fully integrated into its own platforms and will immediately remove £ 700,000 of debt and liabilities from its consolidated balance sheet.
() said it is taking a number of steps to protect the business after the coronavirus lockout, including selling shares to bring in £ 8.4 million. The company also postponed the maturity of its banking facility by one year to May 2022, achieved a range of savings, including salary cuts, initially saving £ 1.6 million a month, and canceled the dividend. The group, which had net cash of £ 31 million at the end of February, said it was unable at this stage to give any forward-looking information.
() said the proposed expanded partnership between the mobile commerce company and NHN Corp (NHN), a South Korean big data company, announced on April 3, 2020, ended on April 16, with the RHN investing 3.2 million pounds sterling in Bango for a 4.7% stake. The AIM-listed company said the RHN has also invested an additional £ 6.5 million for a 60% stake in Bango Deep – the Bango subsidiary that owns the Audiens Customer Data Platform business – Bango retaining 40 %.
() accepted a new modification of the conditions of sale of its activity in Congo, in order to accelerate the transfer of the cost liabilities to Zenith Energy. In a statement, the company said it had been agreed that Forum would now pay £ 200,000 in cash, after approval by AAOG shareholders – this after a March revision to £ 800,000 from the agreed £ 1 million in December. The latest revision comes at a time of increased uncertainty regarding certain deadlines, which would leave AAOG at additional costs and funding problems.
Amur Minerals Corporation () said Thursday it will raise £ 750,000 by placing 75 million 1 pence shares. The funds raised will be used to repay the initial advance on the Plena Global Opportunities LLC credit facility, details of which were released last month.
(), the cybersecurity service provider, has announced plans to raise funds by placing its shares at 55p pop. The company has announced that it will place 909,091 new common shares, raising £ 500,000 before expenses. The funds will be used to ensure that the company is sufficiently well capitalized to take advantage of longer-term growth opportunities once the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has stabilized and to strengthen the balance sheet.
() stated that his name change [email protected] Capital PLC was delayed by Companies’s House due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it had been informed by Companies’s House that “there are currently significant delays in processing name change requests” and that the registrar “may not be able to process the documents as quickly as by the past”.
() highlighted a “solid performance” in a context of disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, with income-generating operations underway in Cameroon. In a first quarter update, the company noted that average daily gas production was 5.1 million cubic feet per day, plus 1,656 barrels per day of condensate, which generated 5.3 million dollars of revenue for the period.
() said it will hold its general meeting (GM) at the company’s business address, which is located at WeWork, 71-91 Aldwych House, London WC2B 4HN on Wednesday May 6 at 2:00 p.m. He added that the forms of proxy to vote at the AG must be completed, signed and returned so that it can be received by the company’s registrars by 2:00 p.m. on May 4. He noted that all the details are set out in the GA Notice, which has been made available to shareholders and is also available on the company’s website. www.curzonenergy.com
() declared that following the requests for information of the shareholders and after having taken the opinion of professionals concerning the current restrictions of the government on the social gatherings, the company can confirm that the AGM convened for 12h00 on April 23, 2020 will be held at Headquarters, Unit 71.4 Dunsfold Park, Stovolds Hill, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8 TB. However, in light of current home maintenance measures for coronaviruses (COVID-19) in the UK, the AGM will take place as a closed meeting and the shareholders will not be able to attend in person and are invited to exercise their vote by submitting their proxy indicated in the notice of meeting.
6:40 am: Hope springs eternally
On Friday, the FTSE 100 looks set to jump as hopes that the drug giant Gilead Sciences is on the right track with treatment for the coronavirus (COVID-19) should propel stocks up.
Spread betting quotes indicate that the UK benchmark, which rose 31 points to close at 5628 yesterday, will open its account to around 180 points higher at 5808.
According to a report by the health media site Stat News, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine have reported “quick cures” in 125 COVID-19 patients participating in a trial of Gilead’s drug candidate, remdesivir.
It’s a very small sample but hope springs forever.
“The news pushed up the US index futures and paved the way for a positive session in Asia. European markets are expected to go up, “said David Madden of CMC.
Overnight, China released gross domestic product (GDP) data for the first quarter, showing that the economy contracted 6.8% year over year, which was slightly worse than the 6.5% drop the market expected.
“The last time we saw such a sharp contraction was in 1967, when China experienced growth of -5.8% during the cultural revolution. The contraction this time is the result of city closures and strict measures of social distancing. Comparing the scale gives us an idea of the magnitude of the impact of COVID-19, “said Iris Pang, chief economist of Greater China at ING.
Pang lowered its GDP forecast for the rest of the year.
In other economic news from the People’s Republic, annualized retail sales for March fell 15.8%, which was much worse than the 10% drop traders expected, but an improvement from the downside 20.5% observed in February.
And China’s industrial production fell 1.1% year-on-year (March) from a consensus forecast of 7.3% lower. The previous reading was down 13.5%.
“This positive rating is mainly the result of the need to combat COVID-19, eg. non-woven textiles (masks and protective clothing) + 6.1% year-on-year, medicines + 4.5% year-on-year, “observed Pang.
Hong Kong investors were in good spirits after the economic releases, the Hang Seng index rising 554 points to 24,561. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 486 points to 19,776.
By reviewing the local London calendar, Paddy Power and owner () Betfair will update its first quarter transactions.
Investors hope the update will provide a little more clarity on the bookmaker’s impact of the cancellation of sporting events following the coronavirus pandemic and on the amount of money bettors have spent on casinos and other games.
The mining giant () released an overnight first quarter production statement on the Australian stock exchange, revealing higher than expected iron ore production. On the downside, the company has reduced its copper production forecast for 2020 to take into account the disruption caused by the coronavirus.
Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gildes Sciences antiviral drug remdesivir in closely watched clinical trial finds rapid recovery from fever and respiratory symptoms, with almost all patients discharged in less than one week https://t.co/ 03J76F3bmZ
– Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) April 16, 2020
Around the markets:
- Pound Sterling: US $ 1.2495, up 0.37 cents
- Gilding at 10 years, yield 0.299%, down 0.47 basis points
- Gold: US $ 1,722.10 per ounce, down from US $ 9.60
- Crude Brent: US $ 28.28 per barrel, up 46 cents
- Bitcoin: US $ 7,076, up from US $ 31
Important announcements expected on Friday:
Trading announcements: (), (), (), PLC (), ()
Economic data: China’s GDP, retail sales, industrial production
- The British government has prepared bailouts for some of the UK’s biggest companies as well as start-ups struggling to survive.
- announced yesterday that its first quarter profits fell nearly a third year.
- The digital currency project led by Facebook Libra has suffered a severe deterioration in the scope of its original vision.
- Nearly 22 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in the United States in the past four weeks, as the coronavirus has knocked the economy down.
- A quarter of British businesses have been forced to close temporarily due to government measures to contain coronaviruses, according to the Office for National Statistics.
- Struggling oil services group Petrofac lost $ 1.5 billion in contracts to Abu Dhabi it won just two months ago.
- said about 85% of its workforce would be temporarily laid off until at least the end of May.
The Daily Telegraph
- Shell has pledged to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 by switching to green energy.
- Prices are expected to remain low for buyers as the coronavirus drives families online and triggers a surge in homework, said decision maker Silvana Tenreyro.
- KFC, Burger King and Pret a Manger have reopened some fast food restaurants across Britain as there is growing hope that coronavirus cases will peak.
- has become a more valuable business than the American oil giant ExxonMobil, because the streaming service benefits from blockages from coronaviruses.
- Vauxhall plans to restart auto production after implementing new safety measures.
- Millionaires and billionaires are expected to reap more than 80% of the benefits from a change in tax law as part of the US stimulus against coronaviruses, a non-partisan parliamentary committee said.
- According to a leaked document from the European Commission, companies rescued by EU state share purchase programs during the coronavirus pandemic will not be able to pay bonuses to executives.
- The British Retail Consortium has warned that hundreds of thousands of jobs in the retail trade may be lost in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Paddy Power is paying millions of pounds in personnel costs after choosing not to use the government’s leave program despite home workers being dispatched.
- Activist investor Ed Bramson renewed his attack on Barclays boss Jes Staley – but said he would not vote against his reappointment as chief executive while the coronavirus crisis raged.