FTSE 100 LIVE: Pound soars to one-month high despite PM’s imminent COVID warning

FTSE 100 LIVE: Pound soars to one-month high despite PM’s imminent COVID warning

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.8 percent to 2-1/2-year highs, buoyed by a 2% gain in Chinese blue chips and a 1.5 percent rise by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.3 percent as investors fretted about corporate earnings. “If capital is moving on relative growth rates, then China is looking quite attractive,” said Chris Weston, head of research brokerage Pepperstone in Melbourne. “From a virus perspective as well, we’re seeing concerns in Europe, while China is considered a quasi-safe haven.”

China has returned from an eight day Mid-Autumn festival with investors encouraged by a steady rebound in tourism and few coronavirus cases.

Qingdao city said on Monday it will conduct COVID-19 tests for the entire population of more than 9 million people over five days after small number of new cases.

Elsewhere, in the US midwest, infections are at record levels and the World Health Organization is urging fresh curbs for Europe.

Coronavirus aid plans in the United States are also in disarray, with the Trump administration on Sunday calling on Congress to pass a stripped-down relief bill while talks on a more comprehensive proposal were again at an impasse.

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12.12pm update: FTSE falls flat 

The pound at 12pm was 1.3014 dollars compared to 1.3005 dollars at the previous close.

The euro at 12pm was 0.9066 pounds compared to 0.9090 pounds at the previous close.

11.04am update: Negative interest rates warning as experts report UK on track for ‘twilight zone’

Negative interest rates have emerged as a potential approach to help the Bank of England (BoE) respond to the economic struggles the coronavirus pandemic have created.

BBC Today programme business correspondent Dominic O’Connell suggested the threat of the introduction of negative rates could “flog life” into the economy by forcing commercial banks into not “sitting on their money” and issue more loans.

Mr O’Connell said: “Interest rates are already at their lowest since the Stone Age.

“You will have noticed you already get nothing, or nearly nothing, back in interests from your bank every year. But what happens when the central bank that sets interests rate goes even lower and makes rates negative?

“The Bank of England is thinking about it, and many economists believe rates might go negative if the economy dives into a deep slump as a result of the coronavirus.”

10.23am update: Shares in National Express drop naming its new chief executive

Jose Ignacio Garat will be the new chief executive as Chris Davies, the current CEO, will step down at the start of nest month.

Sir John Arnitt, National Express’s chair, said: “Ignacio has the extensive international operational and strategic experience to lead National Express Group through the challenges presented by the pandemic, as well as the significant future opportunities that exist.”

Shares have fallen to 168.0 at 10am this morning after being 174.9 at the previous close.

9am update: State Pension warning as Britons’ understanding is ‘far from perfect’ – act now

State Pension payments can help people once they leave the workforce, and the sum also assists in reaching retirement goals.

The money can be received from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) once a person reaches an eligible age.

And recent changes mean the state pension age now currently stands at 66. 

However, a recent assessment has shown the awareness of the state pension age among Britons is “far from perfect”.

This could prove problematic as a lack of understanding could mean people do not grasp their entitlement as well as they should.

An understanding of pension income can also help people to make appropriate planning decisions over the course of their lives.

Research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has uncovered a lack of awareness surrounding state pension age.

8.05am update: FTSE drops on open

The FTSE has dropped 20 points in just 5 minutes of trading this morning.

The UK index has fallen 0.34%, after falling to 5,996 points after closing at 6,016 yesterday.

 

Published at Mon, 12 Oct 2020 05:40:00 +0000