FTSE 100 LIVE: Marks and Spencer to cut 950 jobs after 84 percent plunge in clothing sales

FTSE 100 LIVE: Marks and Spencer to cut 950 jobs after 84 percent plunge in clothing sales

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The retailer said it was forced to accelerate cost cutting measures due to the pandemic but the move appears to have done little to recover the company’s dropping share price. Before the coronavirus M&S shares traded at 181.300 in February, by March it had dropped to 116.00.

Today the share price is 97.75, which is still significantly lower than this time last month when M&S stock were trading at 107.850.

However, a spokesman said the move marks “an important step” in Marks and Spencer becoming a “stronger, leaner” business.

Sacha Berendji, director of retail, operations and property at M&S, said: “Through the crisis we have seen how we can work faster and more flexibly by empowering store teams and it’s essential that we embed that way of working.

“Our priority now is to support all those affected through the consultation process and beyond.”

Marks and Spencer reported in May its clothing sales fell by 84 percent year-on-year at the lowest point.

While shops can now welcome customers footfall was down 65 percent last month across the retail industry compared to last year with sales tumbling by 48 percent over the past three months as thousands of customers continue to stay away from the high street.

FOLLOW OUR LATEST UPDATES BELOW:

7.30pm update: US market set to reach a record closing high

Wall Street advanced with the Nasdaq set to reach a record closing high on Monday.

Tech shares provided the biggest boost to all three major U.S. stock indexes, but industrials were down, capping the Dow’s gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.52 points, or 0.14 percent, to 26,709.47, the S&P 500 gained 19.72 points, or 0.61 perent, to 3,244.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 190.46 points, or 1.81 percent, to 10,693.65.

6pm update: EU agreement on recovery fund is possible

EU Council President Charles Michel said he was convinced EU leaders would reach an agreement on a recovery package to help economies hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

On the fourth day of the EU summit, Mr Michel told reporters: “We have worked very hard and this proposal is the fruits of lots of collective work with all the leaders and with their teams.

“I know that the last steps are always the most difficult but I am confident I think that even if it is difficult, it will be important to continue to work, I think, and I am convinced that an agreement is possible.”

5.30pm update: Brexit will split financial markets but won’t be disastrous for economy

Brexit will make markets less efficient but it won’t be disastrous for Britain’s economy, an appointee to the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said.

Jonathan Hall, told a confirmation hearing in parliament’s Treasury Select Committee: “It will cause fragmentation, it will cause inefficiency, there will be problems with regulation, but it’s not going to be disastrous… for the economy.”

Britain’s financial sector is “quite different” in size and complexity compared with its European peers, Mr Hall added.

Future direct EU access for financial firms in Britain will hinge on Britain remaining “equivalent” or aligned with rules in Europe, but Mr Hall added the UK can’t be a “rule taker”.

He said: “It’s very important that the UK does remain the regulator for the financial market in the UK.”

5pm update: FTSE close in red

The FTSE 100 dropped into the red despite positive early results from the University of Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine trials which helped to drive AstraZeneca higher.

Traders remained downbeat in the face of the update, having already priced in positive results following reports that it would show progress at the end of last week.

London’s top flight closed 28.78 points lower at 6,261.52p at the end of trading.

Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “Monday’s uneven trading came in the face of a remarkably positive update from the Oxford vaccine trials, with the university stating the injection appears safe, and triggers an immune response in human patients.

“The lack of market bounce following this news can be attributed to Robert Peston, who had already revealed last week that Oxford was preparing to release a promising statement.

“Monday’s release, then, was merely the confirmation of gains already made by Europe and the US.”

FTSE 100 latest Marks and Spencer jobs share price

FTSE 100 LIVE: Marks and Spencer to cut 950 jobs but share price fails to recover (Image: GETTY)

4pm update: S&P 500 continues to rise amid positive news from coronavirus vaccine trials

The S&P 500 edged higher as promising data across a range of COVID-19 vaccine candidates emerged.

US drugmaker Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech reported additional data from their experimental COVID-19 vaccine that showed it was safe and induced an immune response in patients.

Following the news Pfizer’s shares rose 1.5 percent.

However, Elliott Savage, portfolio manager of the YCG Enhanced Fund in Austin, Texas warns phase three trials are often the toughest.

He said: ”Even though we had some good vaccine news, the Phase-3 trials for many of these things is the hardest part and is very difficult to get through.

“At this point, the fiscal stimulus is the next thing on investors’ mind. If there were a big audacious kind of fiscal stimulus package, then that could definitely cause the market to move higher.”

3.20pm update: US Congress readies for a fight over new coronavirus aid bill

US Senate Democrats are prepared to block Republicans from moving forward on a partisan coronavirus aid bill, the chamber’s top Democrat warned today.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy are expected to discuss legislation with President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the White House, a White House official said over the weekend

However, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has warned Republicans not to try to move forward on their own legislation.

He said in a letter to colleagues: “We will stand together again if we must. A bipartisan, bicameral process will result in a much better bill for the American people.”

The Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-led House of Representatives have less than two weeks to hammer out a new relief package before enhanced unemployment benefits run out for tens of millions of American workers made jobless by the pandemic.

2.55pm update: Coronavirus vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford found to be safe and induces an immune reaction

The findings on the Oxford vaccine trial were published in medical journal, The Lancet.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, of the University of Oxford, said: “There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise.

“As well as continuing to test our vaccine in phase-three trials, we need to learn more about the virus – for example, we still do not know how strong an immune response we need to provoke to effectively protect against Sars-Cov-2 infection.

“If our vaccine is effective, it is a promising option as these types of vaccine can be manufactured at large scale.

“A successful vaccine against Sars-Cov-2 could be used to prevent infection, disease and death in the whole population, with high-risk populations such as hospital workers and older adults prioritised to receive vaccination.”

2.45pm update: The FTSE-100 index is down 32.51 at 6257.79

Marks and Spencer store

Marks and Spencer reported in May its clothing sales fell by 84 percent year-on-year (Image: Getty)

2.30pm update: US markets turn positive

Futures tracking the S&P 500 and Dow turned positive as hopes of a coronavirus vaccine offset concerns about the economic damage from a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections.

At 9.01am ET, Dow e-minis were up 15 points, or 0.06 percent, and S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.04 percent.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis, which were up before the report, hit session highs.

It comes as German biotech firm BioNTech and US drugmaker Pfizer reported additional data from their experimental coronavirus vaccine that showed the vaccine was safe and induced an immune response in patients.

2pm update: UK Government ready to support M&S workers, says Boris Johnson’s spokesman

The Government is ready to support Marks and Spencer workers who may lose their jobs with universal credit and the job seekers’ allowance.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We know that this will be worrying news for M&S employees and their families and we stand ready to support them.

“Affected employees will be able to access a wide-range of support including universal credit and the job seekers’ allowance.”

1.45pm update: The FTSE-100 index is down 31.13 at 6259.17

1.40pm update: Britain will be constructive with EU in Brexit talks but will not give up its rights, says No 10 spokesman

The UK and the European Union will resume talks on Tuesday

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: ”Our position on our sovereignty, laws and fisheries is clear, we will not give up our rights as an independent state.

“We will continue to engage constructively with the EU on these key issues and will work hard to reach the broad outline of an agreement, but as we have been clear all along we are not asking for a special, bespoke or unique deal.”

Oxford Street London

London iconic shopping spot Oxford Street has also seen a drop in customer footfall (Image: Getty)

12.45pm update: The FTSE-100 index is down 31.56 at 6258.74

12.30pm update: Boris Johnson says Britain will be tough with China 

Speaking to BBC News the Prime Minister said: “China is a giant factor of geopolitics, it’s going to be a giant factor in our lives and in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

“You have got to have a calibrated response and we are going to be tough on some things but also going to continue to engage.”

The Prime Minister confirmed changes would be made to extradition arrangements with Hong Kong.

12.20pm update: EU summit negotiations “moving in right direction”

Leaders of the EU are determined to reach agreement on the bloc’s long-term budget and an economic recovery plan after three days of haggling at a Brussels summit.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said as she arrived for the fourth day of talks: “They show the clear will to find a solution. I’m positive for today.

“We’re not there yet, but things are moving in the right direction.”

11.45am update: The FTSE-100 index is down 44.41 at 6245.89

Uniqlo Oxford Street shopping

Social distancing measures have been put in place at popular stores (Image: Getty)

10.15am update: Pound sinks to 20-day low vs euro

The pound is down against the euro, which hit 19-week highs.

Versus the dollar, sterling changed hands at $1.2573 at 0803 GMT, broadly flat on the day, having fallen overnight then recovered from around 0400 GMT.

Against the euro, the pound was at 91.08 pence per euro, down around 0.2% since New York’s close.

Euro-sterling hit a 20-day high of 91.38 pence at 0604 GMT.

9.45am update: The FTSE-100 index is down 26.71 at 6263.59

9.30am update: Oil stocks drag FTSE lower

The FTSE 100 has continued to dip with energy stocks tracking a decline in oil prices amid concerns following the global spike in coronavirus cases.

The commodity-heavy blue-chip index was down 0.9 percent, with BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc among the biggest drags.

The FTSE 100 has bounced about 27 percent following a coronavirus-driven crash in March, but the pace of gains has slowed since June amid fears of a slower-than-expected global economic recovery.

8.45am update: EU markets spooked by summit row

The weekend’s EU summit chaos – and stalemate – has spooked European markets. 

The Euronext 100, CAC 40, DAX and Swiss Market Index have all fallen this morning. 

Euronext is down 0.86 percent, CAC down 0.87 perent, DAX down 0.67 perent and Swiss Market Index down 0.51 percent. 

8.30am update: FTSE plummets on open

The FTSE has dropped sharply on open, falling from yesterday’s close of 6,290 to 6,224 in under an hour. 

It marks a drop of more than 1 percent – a worrying start to the day’s trading. 

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