London pre-open: Stocks gain on upbeat prognosis for Trump

Pre-open Market Report
06:26, 5th October 2020

(Sharecast News) - Stocks are expected to start the session higher following news that US President Donald Trump could be discharged from Walter Reed Medical hospital as early as today.
Against that backdrop, futures on the FTSE 100 were up by 52 points at 5,914.0.

Futures on the S&P 500 meanwhile were pointing 19.75 points higher to 3,359.0, alongside a roughly 200 point gain for those tracking the Dow Jones Industrials.

On Sunday, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, one of the physicians treating Trump, said the president was "up and well" and could potentially return to the White House to continue his five-day course of the anti-viral treatment remdesivir.

However, for some market observers, a previous disclosure from White House doctor, Sean Conley, that at one point Trump was given supplemental oxygen and steroids raised questions about that prognosis.

Significantly, and also at the weekend, Trump's Democratic rival to the US Presidency, Joe Biden, tested negative for Covid-19 for a second time.

Shows over for Cineworld in UK and US

Cineworld on Monday confirmed it would temporarily suspend operations at all of its UK and US theatres from Thursday due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company cited an "increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures" adding that the move would hit 536 Regal theatres in the US and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK.

Oilfield equipment and services outfit, Weir Group, has inked an agreement for the sale of its Oil & Gas unit to US-based Caterpillar for an enterprise value of £314m. The company said that the transaction continued its transformation into a premium mining technology 'pure play' with the new funds enhancing its flexibility to invest in future growth opportunities.

Greencore said business had picked up in the fourth quarter after production was fully restored at its site in Northampton.The maker of sandwiches and other foods for supermarkets said annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be about £85m after charging more than £10m for one-off Covid-19 costs.

LXi REIT reported "robust" rent collection of 97% to date for the September to December quarter on Monday, having been "actively engaged" with all of its tenants over the summer. The FTSE 250 real estate investment trust said that as a result, it was further increasing its quarterly dividend guidance by 6% to 1.44p per share for the fourth quarter ending 31 December. It said that dividend was expected to be fully covered by net rental income for the quarter.

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