(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set to rise at the open on Friday following heavy losses in the previous session.
The FTSE 100 was called to open 40 points higher at 5,862.
Investors will be digesting the latest borrowing figures, which showed the government borrowed £35.9bn in August as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to take its toll.
Capital Economics said: "The £35.9bn the government borrowed in August (up from £5.4bn in August 2019) left borrowing in the year to date at £173.5bn, already the highest cash figure on record with seven months still to go (the previous record was £158.3bn in 2009/10).
"Of course, the government was always expected to borrow a huge sum this year. And borrowing in the year to date is actually 22% below what the OBR projected in July. If that continued, the government would borrow £290bn this year (14% of GDP)."
In corporate news, Pennon said it was on track to report first-half results in line with its own expectations and was considering the best use of funds from the sale of its waste management business.
The FTSE 100 water company said the impact of Covid-19 was broadly in line with its early estimate for a £10m reduction in net revenue for the current financial year. Pennon said its results for the six months to the end of September were resilient.
West End landlord Shaftesbury scrapped its final dividend as it said almost half of rents due for the second half had been waived or were still due.
The company which owns 16-acres of prime shopping and retail property in the heart of the capital, said £13m in rent had been waived for the six months to September 28, with a further £15.1 outstanding by September 11 as the Covid-19 lockdowns hit revenue.
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(Sharecast News) - London stocks were well into positive territory at the close on Friday, with banks pacing the advance after well-received results from Barclays, as investors shrugged off news that the UK's economic recovery was stalling.
Gunsynd, an investment firm operating within the natural resources sector, announced that it has invested C$0.25 million (around £0.146 million) into precious metals royalty and streaming company Empress Royalty Corp. The group said the move complements existing investments in the precious metals sector, adding new commodity exposure to silver.
Clinical stage drug development firm, Evgen Pharma, has been given the green light to kick-start its STAR trial which will investigate whether its lead asset, SFX-01, can reduce the severity, or prevent the onset of, acute respiratory distress syndrome in patients with suspected COVID-19.
Braveheart Investment Group, the AIM-listed investment firm, said its investee company, Pharm2Farm ("P2F"), will launch the sale of a new antiviral face mask that has a ‘kill rate’ of over 90% for up to 7 hours for COVID-19 by the end of the year.
London-listed Sensyne Health, the UK-based clinical AI company, announced that it has signed a research collaboration agreement with US pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb ("BMS"), marking its fourth successive partnership with a major pharma company.