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US stocks finished mixed on Thursday, as data showed initial jobless claims fell below 1 million for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit in mid-March.
European shares closed in the red on Thursday, as investors pored over a surprise from the latest US jobless claims data, with Airbus hit by continuing tariffs from Washington.
London stocks closed in negative territory on Thursday, with ex-dividends weighing heavily as hopes of further US stimulus faded and a trade dispute between the US and Europe dented sentiment, although the latest jobless figures out of the US did surprise.
The eurozone will be front and centre of the economic agenda on Friday, as the second quarter GDP growth figures are set to be released mid-morning.
Homewares manufacturer Portmeirion Group has acquired the remaining 50% of Portmeirion Canada from Royal Selangor, it announced on Thursday, meaning it now owns 100% of the company.
Provexis has entered into an agreement to purchase the background and joint foreground blood pressure lowering intellectual property and patents for ‘Fruitflow’ from Inven2, the technology transfer office at the University of Oslo, for 11,500,000 new shares.
Immunodiagnostic Systems announced on Thursday that a new automated SARS-CoV-2 IgM assay has achieved CE-marking, and was now expected to be available for sale in the UK, the European Union and other countries in September.
Condor Gold said on Thursday that it has made “significant progress” meeting the terms of its environmental permit for the development and exploitation of gold from the La India open pit in Nicaragua.
Graphene producer Directa Plus announced on Thursday that its ‘G+’ graphene-enhanced facemask, branded ‘Co-mask’, has been confirmed as having “strong anti-viral properties” by a team at the department of neurosciences of the Catholic University of Rome, in conjunction with the Gemelli Hospital in Rome.
Europe-focussed Atalaya Mining reported first-half revenues of €117. 73m (£106. 41m) on Thursday, rising from €94. 78m a year earlier.
International Personal Finance said on Thursday that its collections were continuing to improve amid the Covid-19 crisis, and were now at 92% of pre-pandemic expectations, as it also confirmed the end of its tax dispute in Poland.
Remote location service provider RA International Group announced the award of a “significant” contract on Thursday.
Empiric Student Property reported first-half revenue of £34m on Thursday, down from £35. 7m a year earlier, which it said was net of £3. 8m rent forgone, and the loss of about £0. 7m in expected revenue for summer term lets due to Covid-19.
Markets in Asia finished in a mixed state on Thursday, with fresh jobs data in Australia showing the unemployment rate rocketing to a 22-year high.
Germany-focussed business parks operator Sirius Real Estate said on Thursday that as at 31 July, it had collected €39. 9m (£36. 09m) in rent and service charges relating for the April-to-June quarter, in line with the €39. 9m it had collected at the same time last year.
Just Group reported an IFRS profit before tax of £305m in its first half on Thursday, up from £125m, which it said was driven by investment and economic profits, due to the fall in interest rates, and a stable underlying operating profit.
Wall Street stocks closed in the green on Wednesday, as the S&P 500 rebounded from its first losing session in over a week.
London stocks closed in positive territory on Wednesday, as investors took dire UK GDP figures in their stride.
European shares continued their strong run on Wednesday as investors shrugged off UK recession woes and US fiscal stimulus worries as Liberty Global's takeover of Sunrise Communications boosted sentiment.
Investors will be holding their breath for clues as to the state of the United States employment market on Thursday, with the latest jobless claims figures due out in the afternoon.