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Weekly review

By Josh White

Date: Friday 05 Jun 2020

(Sharecast News) - The FTSE 100 ended the week 407.7 points higher at 6,484.30.
Equity view

Scientific engineer Renishaw scrapped its final dividend in response to the coronavirus crisis as it looked to control costs.

Kaz Minerals announced updated parameters for the Baimskaya Project based on feasibility study work completed to date on Friday, after limited work in the second quarter due to Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions in the region.

John Wood Group announced its pledge to set a "science-based target" to reduce its scope one and two greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 on Friday.

Workspace increased its final dividend as annual trading profit rose but the company said rent reductions and a sharp slowdown in enquiries would hit performance in the current year.

Pennon increased its annual dividend by 6.6% but halved its target for dividend growth as the water company set aside £9m for bad debts from Covid-19.

Catering group SSP said it had raised £11m from a share placing after asking shareholders to reinvest their 2019 final dividend.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals has raised £133.4m in a placing to fund an acquisition and bolster its finances as it looks to weather any Covid-related disruption.

Online trading platform IG Group said on Thursday that full-year trading revenue is expected to be higher than last year as it continues to benefit from increased volatility due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chemring posted a rise in interim profit on Tuesday thanks to "strong" performances in both of its segments as it backed its full-year expectations.

Ryanair operated just 701 flights in May as government Covid-19 restrictions almost wiped out the budget airline's schedule.

Ferrexpo has won a court case to lift a restriction on more than half the shares in one of the company's mining businesses in Ukraine.

C&C Group reported a 7.8% improvement in net revenue in its final results on Wednesday, to €1.72bn (£1.53bn), while its operating profit rose 10.4% to €116.4m.

Industrial products distributor Electrocomponents deferred its final dividend until it had a clearer view of the coronavirus pandemic's impact as sales fell 14% in the first eight weeks of the current year.

Private hospital operator Mediclinic reported a widening of its full-year losses on Tuesday as it took a hit from impairment charges.

McCarthy & Stone said its sales offices and construction sites would start to reopen from the Covid-19 lockdown on 8 June and that fewer of its residents had died than in the wider older population.

Tesco is looking for a new chief financial officer after Alan Stewart decided to leave the supermarket group.

Balfour Beatty scrapped its final dividend after the Covid-19 lockdown had a material impact on the group's financial performance across its business.

AstraZeneca announced on Monday that 'Brilinta', or ticagrelor, has been approved in the United States to reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke in high-risk patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) - the most common type of heart disease.

Capital & Counties Properties has agreed to buy a 26.3% stake in Shaftesbury for £436m.

Insurance firms including RSA and Hiscox responded to a statement from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Monday, over the regulator's business interruption insurance court proceedings, which were first announced on 1 May.

Economic news

UK consumer confidence fell in May to its worst level since January 2009 as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to weigh, according to a survey out on Friday.

UK house prices edged lower in May as the full impact of Covid-19 lockdown measures was felt, according to the latest figures from mortgage lender Halifax.

The downturn in the UK construction sector eased last month as sites started to reopen, according to a survey released on Thursday, although output remained at record lows.

UK lenders have been asked to forecast expected loan losses from the coronavirus crisis, the Bank of England said on Thursday.

The UK's dominant services sector remained in a deep downturn in May due to the Covid-19 crisis but the pace of decline eased, a survey showed.

Britain's automotive industry has reportedly been in confidential talks with the government over a possible £1.5bn scrappage scheme or "market stimulus package".

Vulnerable people are at risk of being unable to access cash to pay for goods and services as the coronavirus crisis accelerates the transition to cashless payments.

Mortgage approvals tumbled to a near 30-year low in April as the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown measures brought the UK property market to a halt, official data showed on Tuesday.

UK banks have warned that up to half the £18.5bn "bounce back" loans they make to small businesses during the Covid-19 crisis are unlikely to be repaid, according to a report.

The UK manufacturing sector continued to struggle in May, a widely-watched survey showed on Monday, although the pace of decline eased following April's historic fall.

International events

German factory orders tumbled in April as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll, according to figures released by Destatis on Friday.

Far from continuing to deteriorate as most economists had forecast, the US jobs market showed some signs of life in May.

China's aviation authority said Thursday it would allow all foreign airlines to choose a city from a pre-approved list to operate one flight a week after the US banned all Chinese carriers from entering the country.

The European Central Bank more than delivered on economists' expectations for further easing.

China's services sector returned to growth in May for the first time since January, according to data released on Wednesday.

Business activity in the eurozone improved in May but remained firmly in contraction territory as coronavirus lockdowns continued to take their toll.

Shares in German flag carrier Lufthansa soared on Tuesday after the airline's supervisory board backed a €9bn state bailout.

Volkswagen Group finalized on Tuesday its $2.6bn investment in Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based self-driving car startup.

Eurozone manufacturing continued to shrink sharply in May as Covid-19 restrictions caused factory job losses to mount, a survey showed.

Manufacturing activity in the US picked up slightly last month albeit by a tad less than anticipated, the results of the most closely-followed survey for the sector revealed.

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