In comes amid chaos in the Asian stock markets, after MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dipped 0.22 percent. Meanwhile, US stock futures ESc1 also eased 0.12 percent. Shares in China .CSI300 initially rose as investors snapped up banking shares due to an improving earnings outlook, but the broader market surrendered those gains and fell 0.55 percent.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s offer to raise the size of a fiscal stimulus package to win the support of Republicans and Democrats helped narrow Wall Street’s losses.
However, many investors still believe a deal is unlikely before the Nov 3 election.
“There’s a bit of worry there and also at what we’re seeing in America and in Europe regarding the virus and how it seems to be taking hold pretty significantly again,” said Grant Williamson, investment adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch, New Zealand.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 0.07 percent, the S&P 500 .SPX 0.15 percent and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.47 percent.
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9.30am update: Wetherspoons suffers first loss in 36 years
Pubs chain JD Wetherspoon has sunk to a loss of £105.4 million after sales took a £556 million hit from the Covid-19 crisis.
The company said it saw an increase in business in the weeks following the easing of lockdown but the new restrictions and 10pm curfew have seen this fall back.
One-off costs due to Covid-19 hit £29 million, including £5.9 million in drinks and food that had to be thrown away, £6.2 million on PPE, screens and other equipment to make pubs Covid- secure, and £17.1 million on staff costs.
However, the company benefited from a £15.9 million payout from HMRC over a long-term gaming machine dispute.
The loss is the first time founder and chairman Tim Martin’s chain has sunk into the red since 1984 but the company remains confident that it can continue to trade.
8.45am update: FTSE soars on open
The FTSE has soared on open this morning, after a nightmare start yesterday.
The UK index closed at 5,832 yesterday but has already risen to 5,909 this morning.
This marks a 77 point (1.31%) rise in just 45 minutes.
7.00am update: Pub industry could be ‘decimated’
Tougher coronavirus restrictions will “decimate” pubs unless they receive further government support, an industry body has warned.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said the Tier 2 Covid-19 measures – which ban households from mixing indoors – could lead to permanent closures in the sector.
It came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that London, along with Essex, Elmbridge in Surrey, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield will move into the second tier of restrictions from Saturday.
Some 3,640 pubs and 7,556 restaurants across London will be affected, according to analysis of official government data by real estate adviser Altus Group.
BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said the tighter measures will leave “most pubs fighting for their very survival”.