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Tesco sells share in Chinese joint venture, Hammerson holds its dividend

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 25 Feb 2020

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open 46 points higher on Tuesday, having closed down 3.34% at 7,156.83 on Monday.
Stocks to watch

Tesco said it had sold its 20% share in the Chinese Gain Land joint venture to its partner China Resources Holdings (CRH) for ?275m. The supermarket chain on Tuesday said the sale would help its "further simplify and focus the business on its core operations" and the cash used for general corporate purposes. The transaction will be completed on February 28 and there were no conditions to closing or regulatory approvals required, it added.

Retail property developer Hammerson held its dividend, reported an 8.5% fall in earnings per share and wrote down the value of its assets. Full year adjusted earnings per share came in at 28p against 30.6. The company reported a widened basic loss per share of 102.1p compared with a loss of 34.1p in 2018. Hammerson held the full year dividend at 25.9p but said it would rebase the 2020 payout to a sustainable level, removing the direct link between earnings generated and dividend paid.

AstraZeneca has agreed to sublicense its global rights to 'Movantik', or naloxegol, excluding Europe, Canada and Israel, to RedHill Biopharma, it announced on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 pharmaceuticals giant described Movantik as a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist, indicated for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation. It said RedHill would make an upfront payment of $52.5m to AstraZeneca on closing, and a further non-contingent payment of $15m in 2021.

Newspaper round-up

The FTSE 100 yesterday suffered its largest single-day points drop since August 2015 and its biggest percentage decline since January 2016 as the spread of coronavirus outside China triggered an investor flight to safety. London's leading index closed down 247.09 points, or 3.3 per cent, at 7,156.83, while the pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 3.8 per cent, its biggest intraday percentage slump since Britain voted to leave the European Union. - The Times

Rishi Sunak has told the taxman not to take a "heavy-handed" approach in the first year of a much-criticised shake-up for self-employed workers, as pressure from campaigners mounts. The Chancellor promised to make "tweaks and improvements" to changes to the IR35 regime which come into force in April, following fury from businesses and contractors fearful they will be landed with massive bills. - Telegraph

The digital bank Revolut has become the UK's most valuable financial technology startup after a funding round that more than tripled its value to ?4.2bn. The valuation puts it ahead of rival digital bank Monzo, which was valued at ?2bn last year, and that of small business lender OakNorth, which previously held the top spot at ?2.2bn. - Guardian

Harvey Weinstein is facing up to 29 years in prison after he was found guilty yesterday of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another. The verdict in New York was hailed as a watershed for abuse victims and sealed Weinstein's descent from imperious mogul to convicted criminal more than two years after the first claims against him emerged. - The Times

US close

US stocks recorded some of their worst losses in two years on Monday as the number of Wuhan coronavirus cases accelerated outside of China, fuelling concerns about a potential prolonged global economic slowdown.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 3.56% at 27,960.80, while the S&P 500 slumped 3.35%% to 3,225.89 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 3.71% weaker at 9,221.28.

The Dow closed a whopping 1,031.61 points lower on Monday, following on from heavy losses seen at the end of last week as an increase in the number of new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus added to fears that a pronounced global economic slowdown was on the horizon.

Companies exposed to China took a hit in early trading on Monday, with the likes of Delta and American Airlines nosediving 6.29% and 8.52%, respectively, while United Airlines shares flew 3.26% lower.

Shares of Nvidia were down 7.07%, while fellow chipmakers Intel and AMD were down 4.01% and 7.81%, respectively. Apple was down 4.75% at the close.

Throughout the session, market participants kept a keen eye on developments surrounding the outbreak, which has now spread rapidly to the likes of South Korea and Italy - which officially became the most affected country outside of Asia, with more than 130 reported cases and three deaths.

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