FTSE 100 LIVE: Huge boost as UK economy soars 15.5% in third quarter COVD fight-back

FTSE 100 LIVE: Huge boost as UK economy soars 15.5% in third quarter COVD fight-back

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Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 15.5 percent in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020 as restrictions on movement eased across June, July, August and September. Quarterly growth captures the average level of output in July to September relative to the average in April to June.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned growth is expected to get worse: “Today’s figures show that our economy was recovering over the Summer, but started to slow going into Autumn.

“The steps we’ve had to take since to halt the spread of the virus mean growth has likely slowed further since then.

But there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic on the health side – including promising news on tests and vaccines.

“My economic priority continues to be jobs – that’s why we extended furlough through to March and I welcome the news today that nearly 20,000 new roles for young people have been created through our Kickstart scheme.

“There are still hard times ahead, but we will continue to support people through this and ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity.”

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FTSE

Japan’s Nikkei 225 is up 0.68 points as vaccine hopes continue (Image: GETTY)

5.00pm update: FTSE-100 closes down

The FTSE-100 index at the close was down 43.16 at 6338.94.

The FTSE Mid-250 index closed down 38.02 at 19302.17.

4.20pm update: Sterling slips

Sterling weakened on Thursday after news that Britain’s economy grew by a slower-than-expected 1.1 percent between August and September.

Rishi Sunak said steps to restrict the spread of COVID-19 were likely to have slowed economic growth since September.

The pound was down by 0.6 percent against the dollar at $1.3139 and by 0.9 percent against the euro, last trading at 89.88 pence.

2.45pm update: FTSE-100 down

The FTSE-100 index at 2:45pm was down 75.75 at 6306.35.

2pm update: BAE deal supercharges UK economy as Germany orders £1.3 BILLION worth of fighter jets

BAE Systems has received a staggering £1.3billion order to produce 38 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for the German Air Force.

Work is set to commence in 2021 at BAE Systems’ sites in Lancashire on the production of Typhoon through to the mid-2020s.

The production will sustain the high-value engineering roles in Northern England.

BAE Systems supercharge UK economy with deal

BAE Systems supercharge UK economy with deal (Image: Getty)

12.35pm update: US stocks futures muted as COVID-19 cases surge

Futures tracking the S&P 500 were little changed on Thursday as U.S. coronavirus infections surged and investors weighed the timeline of the roll-out of an effective vaccine, while technology stocks headed higher for the second straight day.

Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp, which are among stocks that have logged strong demand for their products and services in the work-from-home environment, rose about 0.5 percent each in premarket trading, while futures for the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.4 percent.

New coronavirus cases in the United States surged above 100,000 for an eighth consecutive day, with the situation expected to worsen as winter sets in.

New York became the latest state to introduce social distancing restrictions on Wednesday.

American Airlines Group Inc, United Airlines Holdings Inc and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, among companies dealt the hardest blow from the virus outbreak, fell between 1.0 percent and 2.3 percent.

11.10am update: FTSE 100 wallowed in the red in late morning, dropping 25 points to 6,356

AstraZeneca PLC was flat at 8,771p despite posting disappointing results for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with its cancer drug Calquence.

In phase II clinical trials, the candidate did not increase the proportion of patients who remained alive and free of respiratory failure compared to best supportive care.

“While the CALAVI results are disappointing, we remain committed to advancing science that helps patients during this unprecedented global pandemic, including clinical trials for the AstraZeneca Oxford coronavirus vaccine and our long-acting antibody combination,” noted José Baselga, executive vice president at the oncology division.

10.15am update: Global oil unlikely to get significant boost 

Global oil demand is unlikely to get a significant boost from the roll-out of vaccines against COVID-19 until well into 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday, a view that curbed oil price gains since vaccine progress was announced earlier this week.

“It is far too early to know how and when vaccines will allow normal life to resume. For now, our forecasts do not anticipate a significant impact in the first half of 2021,” the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly report.

“The poor outlook for demand and rising production in some countries … suggest that the current fundamentals are too weak to offer firm support to prices.”

Brent crude fell 0.8% to $43.46 a barrel in early London trade, snapping three straight days of gains.

Rishi Sunak warns growth will be slower

Rishi Sunak warns growth will be slower (Image: Downing Street)

8.40am update: London’s FTSE 100 slips after near 8 percent rally this week

London’s FTSE 100 slipped on Thursday after staging a near 8 percent rally this week, as slower-than-expected domestic economic growth in September underscored concerns about a faltering recovery from the coronavirus-driven recession.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.9%, led by bank and energy stocks, while the domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 lost 0.1 percent.

Official data showed Britain’s economy grew by only 1.1 percent in September from August, even before the latest restrictions on businesses, while finance minister Rishi Sunak said new steps taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 had likely slowed growth even more since then.

In company news, luxury brand Burberry Group Plc rose 4.1 percent after its sales returned to growth in October as comparable store sales fell by less than expected in the previous quarter.

8am update: UK’s trade surplus narrows in third quarter

The UK’s total trade surplus narrowed in the third quarter, falling by £3.4bn to £4.2bn (excluding precious metals).

The drop was driven by an increase in the trade in goods deficit, which widened by £2.4bn to £24.9bn in the third quarter.

The ONS said: “The trade in services surplus narrowed by £1.0bn to £29.1bn in Quarter 3 2020. Services exports decreased by £0.3bn, while services imports rose by £0.7bn.

“The main drivers of the change in exports and imports were travel, other business services and intellectual property.

“The underlying trade in goods deficit widened by £2.4bn to £24.9bn in Quarter 3 2020.

“Goods exports increased by £14.1bn, while goods imports increased by £16.6bn.

‘The increase in goods exports and imports was driven mostly by increases in machinery and transport equipment, particularly road vehicles such as cars, and lesser increases in miscellaneous manufactures and material manufactures.”

ONS latest figures

ONS latest figures (Image: ONS)

7.30am update: Rishi Sunak warns growth is expected to get worse

The Chancellor said: “Today’s figures show that our economy was recovering over the Summer, but started to slow going into Autumn.

“The steps we’ve had to take since to halt the spread of the virus mean growth has likely slowed further since then.

But there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic on the health side – including promising news on tests and vaccines.

“My economic priority continues to be jobs – that’s why we extended furlough through to March and I welcome the news today that nearly 20,000 new roles for young people have been created through our Kickstart scheme.

“There are still hard times ahead, but we will continue to support people through this and ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity.”

7.20am update: Expert says economy still well below pre-pandemic peak

Jonathan Athow, deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics said: “While all main sectors of the economy continued to recover, the rate of growth slowed again with the economy still remaining well below its pre-pandemic peak.

“The return of children to school boosted activity in the education sector.

“Housebuilding also continued to recover, while business strengthened for lawyers and accountants after a poor August.

“However, pubs and restaurants saw less business after the ‘eat out to help out’ schemed ended, and accommodation saw less business after a successful summer.”

7.10am update: Britain’s GDP grew by 1.1 percent in September

According to latest figures from the Office of Natianal Statistics, the GDP grew 1.1 percent in September but remains 8.2 percent below its February peak.

ONS reported services grew 1.0 percent (8.8 percent below Feb), the manufacturing industry grew by 0.2 percent (8.1 percent below Feb) and construction grew 2.9 percent (7.3 percent below Feb).

They said: “This is the largest quarterly expansion in the UK economy since ONS quarterly records began in 1955.

“However, it is worth noting that this reflects the continued easing of lockdown restrictions in the third quarter as well as some recovery of activity from the steep contraction in April.

“The level of GDP in the UK is still 9.7pc below where it was prior to the pandemic at the end of 2019.

“Compared with the same quarter a year ago, the UK economy fell by 9.6pc.

“The monthly path of GDP in Quarter 3 2020 reveals that there has been a slowdown of growth in August and September as momentum has eased through the quarter.

“GDP increased by 6.3pc in July, driven by accommodation and food services as lockdown restrictions were eased.”

6.46am update: Coronavirus to hit 2020 Wall Street bonuses

Wall Street workers should expect lower bonuses this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic according to compensation firm Johnson Associates Inc.

The company predicts retail and commercial bankers will see their year-end incentive pay fall by between 25-30 percent.

Johnson Associates Inc managing director Alan Johnson said: “The pandemic is wreaking havoc on many parts of the U.S. economy this year, and the financial services industry is no exception.”

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