FTSE hits lowest level since April as coronavirus fears cause turmoil

Wed, 28th Oct 2020

The market has decided it needs to panic about coronavirus amid the threat of new national lockdowns with the FTSE 100 hitting its lowest level since April as it closed down 2.55% at 5,582.80. This followed a very weak open to the trading session on Wall Street as the S&P 500 sank 2.8% to 3,296.71 by 4.30pm UK time. Aston Martin Lagonda went against the tide, moving 0.9% to 55p, after it unveiled a refinancing package late on Tuesday that would see Mercedes-owner Daimler lift its stake in the company to 20%, up from 2.3%. Aston Martin also was raising £125 million from an issue of shares to companies including Zelon and Permian Investment Partners. Clothing retailer Next also bucked the wider market, gaining 6p to £60.96, having upgraded its annual profit guidance after it grew its sales by a more-than-expected 1.4% in the third quarter. Next's pre-tax profit for the full year, based on a central sales scenario, was now expected at £365 million, up from the £300 million scenario given in September. GlaxoSmithKline fell 2.7% to £13.24 following news that it and French peer Sanofi had signed a supply agreement with global vaccine alliance organisation Gavi for Covid-19 vaccines. Property developer Land Securities dropped 2.4% to 513.5p on announcing that it had appointed Vanessa Simms as its new chief financial officer. Sims was currently CFO of residential landlord Grainger, which shed 2.2% to 276.8p. Footwear retailer Shoe Zone tumbled 16.5% to 38p after it said it would not be in a position to start paying dividends until the 2025 financial year, while also warning of a full-year loss. Pre-tax losses at Shoe Zone for the year through 5 October were expected in the range of £10.0 million to £12.0 million, with revenue seen slumping 24% to £122.6 million. Specialist engineering company IMI fell by 2.4% to £10.40, on announcing that trading in the third quarter had been 'somewhat better' than previous expectations amid a one-off surge in ventilator sales. Food and beverage ingredient supplier Tate & Lyle shed 1% to 623.8p, having agreed to acquire 85% shareholding of Thai tapioca modified food starch manufacturer Chaodee Modified Starch, for an undisclosed sum. Solar project investor Next Energy Solar Fund firmed 0.2% to 107.2p after it first-half generation volumes exceeded its budget by 11%. Next Energy Solar Fund reaffirmed its full-year dividend target of 7.05p per share. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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