The FTSE 100 opens a new trading week with a groan rather than a roar; AstraZeneca requests as it seeks to reuse the drug to treat COVID-19


The new trading week started with a groan rather than the expected roar, as the British blue-chip index defied early bullish forecasts to open almost unchanged.

It was thought that better-than-expected trade figures from China, which helped lift the stock markets in Asia, would have a similar impact on activity in London.

Instead, the mood was cautious with Square Mile’s price setters keeping their powder dry. They probably have an eye on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones ended Monday down almost 400 points as it prepared for a bloody first quarter earnings season.

“We are likely to see a number of canceled dividends, missed profit forecasts and almost completely wiped out futures,” said James Hughes, analyst at Scope Markets.

“With the epidemic causing chaos around the world, investors seem to have been flying blind when it comes to individual stocks. “

Oil prices haven’t exactly started to soar following OPEC’s agreed production cut, analysts say the latest restrictions simply aren’t enough to support the overwhelmed market by millions of barrels of excess crude per day.

Footsie’s top ranking was (), which rose 6.5% after announcing the launch of a trial of its blood cancer drug Calquence as a treatment for COVID-19.

A sharp rise in the price of gold to more than US $ 1,700 per ounce had an impact on the silver miner Fresnillo () and the Russian polymer (), which increased by 5% and 6% respectively. The actions of Centamin (), which digs for yellow metal in Egypt, and of Petropavlovsk (), were also in demand.

After the sugar spike created by the Saudi investment, the cruise ship Carnival () was in diabetic territory, losing 6.6%. Reality has hit home with a second potential wave of reported coronavirus outbreaks over the weekend and blockages in the west are expected to continue well into the next month.

6:46 a.m .: Footsie should progress further

The FTSE 100 is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, while European and selected Asia-Pacific markets will reopen after the long Easter weekend and before the final earnings season.

Large-cap London stocks are called at around 89 points higher by spread betters, after enjoying good momentum when the previous week ended at 5,842.66.

Asian stocks lead the way up Tuesday morning, with Nikkei up 2.7%, Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite up 0.9%, boosted by Chinese trade data that was not as strong bad than we feared.

Wall Street was mixed on Easter Monday, the Dow Jones down 329 points or 1.4% to 23,390.77 and the S&P 500 down 1% but the Nasdaq up 0.5%, before a important results season is not fully triggered.

“Gains are under threat as the earnings season kicks off this week and no one knows what to expect,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

“The companies themselves are unable to predict what will happen in the coming quarters. The only thing we know is that a global lockout weighed heavily on businesses in the first quarter of the year, but unlike past earnings seasons, we don’t have a plausible benchmark. to effectively judge and compare actual results. “

The debate rages in the United States and elsewhere on the length of the coronavirus shutdown as the death toll rises, but daily peaks in many countries appear to have passed.

Coronavirus infections worldwide have now surpassed 1.9 mln and death toll is close to 120,000, compared to 1.5 mln and just under 95,000 deaths before the long weekend, according to the latest Covid-19 data from Johns Hopkins University.

In the UK, the government has confirmed that there will be no lifting of the foreclosure at this stage, with suggestions that the measures could be in place for at least four more weeks.

There have been some encouraging developments around the world, with more data confirming that the virus has reached a plateau in Italy, Germany and Spain. Spain has authorized hundreds of thousands of non-essential workers to return to work on Monday, while Germany will decide on Wednesday to modify or extend the restrictions.

Oil prices have moved little despite a 10% reduction in oil production agreement between Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States – the largest supply reduction in history, producers being faced with a collapse in demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the weekend, the company stories included insurer Hiscox () accused of not paying “valid” business interruption claims related to the coronavirus pandemic; retail giant Next () restarts online shopping after a two-week hiatus; pubs are preparing to throw out thousands of barrels of beer that have passed their expiration date; and the water regulator is preparing to relax the rules on leakage penalties this year.

Tuesday should be a fairly calm day in terms of macroeconomic data, apart from a series of earlier Chinese trade figures and a small survey of the British financial services industry from the CBI overnight which showed a fairly flat decline. surprise of optimism of financial services in the three months to March.

The city’s newspaper is practically empty, but there will likely be many unexpected announcements with companies alerting investors to how they are coping with the pandemic.

The translation provider SDL, which recently mentioned that there had been no material impact on the activities of the coronavirus, apart from a slowdown in decision-making, is on the schedule.

Measures have been put in place to save £ 8 million, while 2019 ended with net cash of £ 26.3 million, alongside bank facilities of £ 120 million.

Around the markets

Delivered: British pound up 0.4% to US $ 1.2559

Oil: barrel of Brent crude up 0.6% to US $ 31.94

Gold: one ounce of yellow metal dish at US $ 1,662.50

Important announcements expected for Tuesday April 14:

Finals: (), ()

Trading announcements: Sirius Real Estate Ltd ()

Business titles


  • Britain will remain stuck for another three weeks as the cabinet debates whether to encourage certain people to return to work.
  • Wall Street suffered the worst coronavirus crash, as long as there is no secondary epidemic in the United States, said
  • North Sea “panic” as pandemic sets off perfect storm – British offshore oil industry faces a watershed moment that could change it forever
  • British American Tobacco is the subject of a criminal investigation by the regulatory authorities in the United States for suspected non-compliance with the sanctions.


  • Brexit negotiators try to pick up pieces as talks resume – Coronavirus disruption has delayed UK-EU agreement on future relations
  • China posts trade surplus after easing of coronavirus shutdown – authorities are cautious as export markets in Europe and the United States remain under quarantine
  • European governments scramble to find agricultural workers for the harvest – coronavirus stops continent’s seasonal migration patterns


  • Donald Trump has said that Opec + is looking to double cuts in oil production to 20 million barrels a day because a historic deal promising record restrictions has failed to raise prices.
  • Businesses are withdrawing credit lines at a record pace as businesses enter “survival mode” to cope with a sudden downturn in economic activity.
  • According to the Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), house prices will drop 13% by the end of 2020 as transactions weaken and home buyers are hit by a deep recession.


  • Call for end to ‘triple lock’ in UK pensions after coronavirus crisis – all generations should pay enormous economic cost, thinktank says


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