Rolling coverage of the latest business and markets news, as England prepares to exit its national Covid lockdown
The FTSE 100 has managed to pare its losses and is now trading just 0.1% lower, having been down nearly 0.9% in morning trading.
But the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 is still taking a hit, down 0.9% for the session.
US stock are climbing at the open:
Loss-making lender TSB has reportedly been put up for sale by its Spanish owners, less than five years after its £1.7bn takeover.
Reuters, citing a source, says Goldman Sachs was hired in July to explore various options for the lender. However, it has now been tasked with the sale of TSB. There are no details about whether there is any deadline for its planned sale.
BREAKING: Sabadell has given Goldman Sachs a mandate to sell its UK bank TSB.
That’s according to Reuters, citing a source.
We’re less than an hour and a half out from the US market open.
Wall Street is expected to trade higher in a truncated session following Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday:
Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is teetering on the brink of administration, putting 15,000 jobs at risk as months of high street shutdowns take their toll, our retail correspondent Sarah Butler reports.
Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Evans and Burton, admitted it was “working on contingency options” to secure its future after a “material impact” on sales from the coronavirus pandemic.
The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses.
As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the group’s brands. The brands continue to trade and our stores will be opening again in England and the Republic of Ireland as soon as the government Covid-19 restrictions are lifted next week.
Time to check back in with European stocks.
The FTSE 100 and 250 are the outliers, trading lower on the back of regional lockdown news, Brexit jitters and questions over the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which is set to undergo a new trial.
One would have thought the lifting of the month-long lockdown would have given a boost to investor sentiment, yet we’re rounding off a week where markets ground to a halt.
The FTSE 250 was always going to be more sensitive to developments with business and society restrictions as it has a greater amount of UK-focused companies than the FTSE 100.
Following up on reports that the Sir Phillip Green-owned Arcadia Group is on the brink of administration, Reuters says the group is working on “contingency” plans.
Arcadia has said that its boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure a future of the group’s brands.
The UK’s decision to the quarantine period for travellers returning to the UK from mid-December is already boosting travel demand, according to the boss of Gatwick Airport.
We are seeing already an uptick in flights, so we should expect to see about 100 flights per day by the time we get to the middle of December, and across the Christmas period.
In further bad news for the high street, Sky News is reporting that the owner of brands including Topshop and Miss Selfridge is preparing to appoint administrators from Deloitte as early as next week.
Sources say Sir Philip Green’s high street empire Arcadia Group could fall into administration as soon as next week putting 15,000 jobs at risk
For more on this and other news visit https://t.co/8OWd2TvLrt
More than 100 workers at Jaeger, Austin Reed and Jacques Vert have been made redundant weeks before Christmas as administrators permanently close 13 stores and almost halve the head office workforce.
The fashion chains, which are part of entrepreneur Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM), collapsed into administration last week.
There are further questions about what the future of TSB might look like after its Spanish owner Sabadell confirmed it was calling of merger talks with its larger rival BBVA over price disagreements.
Sabadell said talks stalled after they failed to agree on an exchange ratio of their shares for a deal.
Sabadell will also analyse strategic alternatives for creating shareholder value with regard to the group’s international assets, including TSB.
Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx, weighs in on the FTSE slump:
While the rest of the markets struggled out of bed, the FTSE woke up with a splitting headache this Friday.
It appears that investors haven’t taken the latest Covid-19 Tier designations well. With most of the UK set to come out of lockdown into the top 2 most severe levels, the FTSE sank 1% after the bell, forcing the index back towards 6,300.
Update: EU negotiator Michel Barnier confirms he’s travelling to London tonight to continue face-to-face Brexit talks this weekend.
In line with Belgian rules, my team and I are no longer in quarantine. Physical negotiations can continue.
I am briefing Member States & @Europarl_EN today. Same significant divergences persist.
Travelling to London this evening to continue talks w/ @DavidGHFrost + team.
Comments EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier have spooked UK investors, who have sent the FTSE 100 further into the red.
The blue chip index is now down around 0.9%.
We’ll get a fuller picture of the success of today’s Black Friday deals come Monday, but as my colleague Zoe Wood explains, total sales are set to soar.
Black Friday is expected to smash online sales records this year as struggling retailers slash prices in a desperate attempt to drum up trade after a lost November on the high street.
Consumers love discounts. If shoppers are looking to bring forward their Christmas shopping, retailers don’t want to lose market share to their competitors. They have to have skin in the game.
A late addition to the pack: Germany’s Dax has opened flat
As expected, European indexes have tumbled into the red at the open:
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
The equity rally stalled yesterday and trading is expected to be subdued throughout the Friday session, as Europe prepares for further Covid restrictions that are expected to continue throughout December.