FTSE 100 starts week on back foot amid worries over coronavirus second wave

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FTSE 100 starts week on back foot amid worries over coronavirus second wave

The FTSE 100 started the week in the red as London’s traders chose to focus on the potential impact of a coronavirus second wave.

Eyed were Germany’s spikes in outbreaks and the reinfection rates as it has eased its lockdown effort.

Here in the UK, the likely scrapping of the two-metre rule to aid the restaurant and pubs sector is being viewed with caution.

On the market, the Swiss attorney general’s decisions to probe Glencore’s (LON:GLEN) activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced Friday, continued to create waves with stock in the miner down 5%.

The shutdown of US cruise operations hit Carnival (LON:CCL), which fell 4.5%.

Hotelier Intercontinental (LON:IHG) and British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG) were off 2.7% and 2.6% respectively amid worries over a renewed clampdown on world travel.

In demand were the precious metals companies, which drove up Mexico-focused silver miner Fresnillo (LON:FRES) 1.5%, while platinum specialist Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT), was up 1%.

On the FTSE 250, publican Marstons (LON:MARS) was up 5% as hopes rose the two-metre restriction would be eased this week, helping the hospitality trade.

Proactive news headlines

Integumen PLC (LON:SKIN) said it has signed a material transfer agreement (MTA) with a company called Aptamer Group that will allow the pair to develop and manufacture a kit to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.  In doing so it will use aptamers, which are synthetic molecules specifically created to bind to another, usually larger, molecule.

Tiziana Life Sciences plc (LON:TILS NASDAQ:TLSA) has allotted and issued 1.8mln ordinary shares of 3 pence each in respect of the exercise of 1,800,000 warrants at a price of 35 pence share, yielding £630,000 in cash proceeds for the company. 

Primary Health Properties PLC (LON:PHP) has completed the first of two conditional purchases of medical centres mentioned in its May 11 announcement. The acquisition price was £3.3mln; Primary Health has previously indicated that the purchase of both centres would cost £6.9mln, before costs.

FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) said that its portfolio firm, mobile game developer Leap Gaming, has expanded its partnership with 888 Holdings PLC (LON:888).  The AIM-listed investment company, which holds a 43.4% stake in Leap Gaming, said the deal will see a number of Leap’s titles become available through the 888casino website including a selection of ultra-realistic 3D virtual sports games.

Cadogan Petroleum Plc (LON:CAD) has announced the restart of production in the Blazhiv-3 and Blazhiv-3 wells, in Ukraine. The wells were previously shut-in back in November and the restart comes after the signing of new lease contracts.

Nuformix PLC (LON:NFX) has announced the resignation of its chief executive, Dan Gooding.  The pharmaceutical company said Gooding will step down from the board with immediate effect but he has agreed to stay until the end of June to conduct an orderly handover. The firm’s chairman, Christopher Blackwell, will lead the company as executive chairman until a successor is found.

Genel Energy Plc (LON:GENL) has appointed Canan Ediboğlu as its new independent non-executive director with immediate effect. Ediboğlu, formerly CEO of Shell Turkey, joins the board to return the balance between independent and non-independent directors.

Ncondezi Energy PLC (LON:NCCL) booked US$769,000 in joint venture investment expenditure during the financial year to December 2019, and spent US$58,000 on power development. The spending shows a shift in pattern, as exploration at the power project in Mozambique has ceased and accounted for zero expenditure during the financial year. Ncondezi closed out 2019 with US$722,000 in the bank.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has raised £1.49mln via a placing of shares at 0.18p. The company has received interest from certain other investors in participating for a further £109,800 on similar terms as the placing and will make a further announcement as and when such arrangements are finalised.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund PLC (LON:GSF) has entered into an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in Ferrymuir Energy Storage Limited. The 50 megawatt (MW) energy storage project in Fife, Scotland, has been acquired from a group of investors comprising Abbey Properties, Yoogen and Intelligent Land Investments.

FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) said that its portfolio firm, mobile game developer Leap Gaming, has expanded its partnership with 888 Holdings PLC (LON:888).  The AIM-listed investment company, which holds a 43.4% stake in Leap Gaming, said the deal will see a number of Leap’s titles become available through the 888casino website including a selection of ultra-realistic 3D virtual sports games.

SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited (LON:SAE) has got the regulatory nod for the transfer of a lease to develop a tidal project in Raz Blanchard, Normandy. The authorities have approved the transfer of the lease to develop the 12 megawatt (MW) tidal power project from ENGIE to Normandie Hydroliennes.

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) said it has been granted its sixth patent in the Chinese market for its G+ graphene technology. The company said the new patent covers the use of G+ technology in bicycle, motorcycle and passenger car tyres as well as truck and bus radial tyres.

6.48 am: Footsie called lower 

The FTSE 100 looks set to ignore Asia’s positive start to the trading week amid worries over a coronavirus second wave.

Apple’s decision to ‘re-close’ 11 US stores and the suspension of cruise operations there too left traders with food for thought over the weekend.

Here in the UK, the relaxation of the two-metres rule is designed to aid the recovery of the hospitality industry.

But as Germany’s emergence from lockdown has shown, it might also coincide with a sharp uptick in the infection rate.

“With Germany widely lauded for its swift coronavirus response, both from a fiscal as well as a medical standpoint, countries across Europe will now be nervously glancing in its direction as authorities there grapple with this resurgence, over concerns it could ripple out beyond its borders and threaten the re-opening plans of countries across the rest of Europe,” said Michael Hewson of CMC Markets.

Turning to the week’s scheduled news, updates from supermarket giant Tesco (LON:TSCO), publican Marstons (LON:MARS) and Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) stand out on the corporate calendar.

On the macroeconomic front, the market is expecting Tuesday’s US and UK purchasing managers’ data for June with a weary air of resignation.

“Although usually the manufacturing PMIs are the more important, nowadays it’s the service sector that’s under pressure and so everyone is waiting to see how the service sector recovers,” said analyst Marshall Gittler at BD Swiss.

Around the markets: Pound US$1.2391 (up 0.33%), gold US$1,767.50 an ounce, up US14.50;Brent crude US$42.05, down 14 cents.                      

Monday’s main news

Finals: Polar Capital Holdings PLC (LON:POLR)

Business headlines

Financial Times

  • Sunak set to follow VAT stimulus with autumn tax rises
  • Brexit: Why hopes are rising that EU and UK could find compromise
  • Wirecard’s €1.9bn never entered the Philippine financial system, bank governor says

Times

  • British Gas hits back with low-cost rival of its own
  • UK clamps down on takeover rules for firms fighting Covid
  • JD Sports is preparing for a possible pre-pack administration of Go Outdoors after the retailer was laid low by the lockdown

Telegraph

  • Ofgem lets energy suppliers start chasing unpaid bills
  • Rogue business owners use coronavirus loans to buy property and supercars
  • National Grid challenges Trump over rules that favour petrol over electric cars

Guardian

  • UK black professional representation ‘has barely budged since 2014’
  • Former chancellor Alistair Darling calls for emergency VAT cut

Proactiveinvestors.co.uk

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