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Weekly review

By Josh White

Date: Friday 10 Jul 2020

(Sharecast News) - The FTSE 100 ended the week down 61.89 points at 6,095.41.
Equity view

London commercial landlord Great Portland Estates said it had collected 69% of June rent to date including amounts covered by rent deposits as tenants felt the pressure of the coronavirus lockdown.

Restaurant Group said on Friday that 10% of its estate will remain closed for the rest of the year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to dent footfall and that it has accessed £50m in government support.

The Gym Group said it lost 20% of its members during the Covid-19 lockdown as it announced plans to reopen nine in 10 of its sites when restrictions are eased on 25 July.

Aerospace and defence technology company Senior reported "robust" cash performance in the half-year ended 30 June on Friday, although it did warn that its revenue would be almost a third lower than the prior year.

Primary Healthcare Properties said it planned to pay a dividend in November as it reported "robust" rent collections in the third quarter.

Building materials distributor Grafton Group posted a decline in revenue on Thursday due to the impact of the coronavirus but said trading in June was more resilient than expected.

AstraZeneca said the US Food and Drug Administration had accepted a supplemental new drug application and granted priority review for a drug used to reduce stroke in patients who experienced an acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack.

Office space provider Workspace said on Thursday that customer demand improved in the first quarter but that activity remains well below pre-Covid levels.

Segro said it had collected 93% of £37m in UK rent due for the third quarter after rearranging payments on £9m.

Real estate investment trust Tritax Big Box said on Wednesday that rent collection has been "strong" since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and that it expects 97% of third-quarter rents will be collected by the end of August.

CLS Holdings said it had collected 86% of contractual rents due by July 7 as it reported a rise in vacancy rates as coronavirus lockdowns took effect.

Software and consulting services company First Derivatives reported a rise in revenue for the four months to the end of June despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Marine services group James Fisher said second quarter group revenue fell 18% year on year as the slumping oil price hit demand from clients.

Plus500 appointed David Zruia as chief executive as the contracts for difference platform reported bumper first-half trading and customer gains returned to normal levels after a costly spike.

Daily Mirror and Daily Express publisher Reach said it was axing 550 jobs to slash costs as the coronavirus pandemic hammered advertising revenues.

Derwent London said on Tuesday that for the June quarter to date, it had received 75% of office rents and 70% of the portfolio's overall rent.

Insurer Aviva said chief executive Maurice Tulloch had stepped down for family health reasons with immediate effect and was replaced by Amanda Blanc.

Hochschild Mining said it was suspending operations at its Inmaculada mine in Peru after some of its workers tested positive for Covid-19.

Cineworld said on Monday that it plans to counter-claim against Cineplex after the Canadian cinema chain announced that it was filing a lawsuit against it for backing out of a $2.1bn deal.

Rentokil Initial said on Monday that Stuart Ingall-Tombs will succeed Jeremy Townsend as chief financial officer.

Economic news

The UK's economy will shrink by more than 10% this year - the worst impact among major economies from the Covid-19 crisis, Moody's ratings agency predicted.

UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said he would focus on restoring public finances and the deficit once he had more clarity around the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

Less than 24 hours after Rishi Sunak unveiled his "plan for jobs", Boots, John Lewis and Burger King announced about 7,000 potential job cuts, raising fears about surging unemployment as the Covid-19 crisis takes its extended toll.

Shopping habits started to show tentative signs of recovery in June as lockdown measures were eased, industry data showed on Friday.

Rishi Sunak will announce a new £2bn job creation scheme for under-25s on Wednesday as a way to support the younger generations through the unemployment surge due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rishi Sunak has announced a series of measures aimed at boosting the UK economy as it emerges from lockdown, including a six-month job retention bonus for furloughed workers and temporarily slashing VAT on food and accommodation.

UK house prices fell for the fourth month in a row in June as the Covid-19 crisis continued to take its toll, but new mortgage enquiries surged, according to a survey released by Halifax on Tuesday.

An anti-gambling charity called on banks to improve their card blocking systems to try to aid those with gambling problems after data emerged that 40% of current accounts offer no help in such cases.

The UK construction sector gathered pace in June, as lockdown restrictions eased and output surged, according to a closely-watched survey published on Monday.

The number of new car registrations fell by over a third in June, industry data showed on Monday, as the UK market tentatively restarted.

International events

The International Monetary Fund chief economist Gita Gopinath called for governments to start "equity-like" support for firms affected by the coronavirus.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) raised its 2020 oil demand forecast on Friday but warned the spread of Covid-19 was still a concern and could change the outlook.

Germany's trade surplus improved as expected in May but exports remained well below pre-Covid-19 levels as large trading partners continued with restrictions on economic activity.

China's manufacturing sector reported tentative signs of recovery in June, despite the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on demand, official data showed on Thursday.

Leading experts will meet to discuss the challenges posed by increasingly sophisticated 'fake news' at the 2020 edition of Cyber Polygon.

Europe's second top court cut German company Infineon Technologies antitrust fine on Wednesday from €82.78m to €76.87m.

A top Federal Reserve official has warned the US economic revival could stall because of the recent increase in Covid-19 infections in large southern and western states.

Brussels has slashed its economic forecasts and warned that the European Union will suffer a deeper-than-expected recession because of the Covid-19 crisis.

Eurozone retail sales rose more than expected in May as coronavirus lockdowns across the bloc eased, according to figures released by Eurostat on Monday.

Investor sentiment has improved across the Eurozone in July for the third month in a row, research published on Monday showed.


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