Sirius Real Estate to pay final dividend, Balfour Beatty to cancel distribution
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 82 points higher on Monday, having closed down 2.29% at 6,076.60.
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Sirius Real Estate said it was paying a final dividend as May rent collections were in line with April's 98.8% of normal working practice. The Germany-focused business parks owner said it would pay a final dividend per share of 1.80 euro cents for a total 3.57 cents as full year pre-tax profits fell to €110m from €144.7m.
Balfour Beatty cancelled its final dividend after the Covid-19 lockdown had a material impact on the group's financial performance across its business. The infrastructure group said it scrapped the dividend "in line with the current environment" but that it would buy £112m of preference shares due on 1 July. The company said its order book at the end of April was £17.4bn, up more than 20% from a year earlier, boosted by HS2 contracts.
AstraZeneca said on Monday that ‘Brilinta’, or ticagrelor, has been approved in the United States to reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke in high-risk patients with coronary artery disease, which is the most common type of heart disease. The FTSE 100 pharmaceuticals giant also announced alongside its partner MSD that ‘Lynparza’, or olaparib, has been recommended for marketing authorisation in the European Union for the first-line maintenance treatment of patients with germline BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Britain’s smallest companies are “jumping before they are pushed” by diverting £10bn in exports away from the EU as concerns mount over a possible collapse in Brexit trade talks, according to a report. The research from academics at Aston University, which comes before the latest round of Brexit negotiations this week, showed small British firms were ramping up sales to countries in South America and east Asia. - Guardian
Manufacturing industry leaders have called on the government for an emergency bailout as the coronavirus outbreak forces factories across Britain to an effective standstill. Sounding the alarm as Covid-19 crushes production levels and puts growing numbers of firms on the brink of collapse, the industry group Make UK said ministers needed to step in with direct state support to ensure the short-term survival of firms. – Guardian
Petropavlovsk, London’s best performing listed gold miner last year, is studying a potential merger with UGC in a deal that would catapult the pair into the upper echelons of the gold mining industry. Discussions between the two mining giants are currently at an early stage, but the deal could “definitely happen”, Petropavlovsk chief Pavel Maslovskiy told the Telegraph. – Telegraph
Shoe chain Aldo is the latest retailer to collapse during the pandemic in the UK just weeks after its Canadian parent company sought creditor protection abroad. The UK arm has now shut five stores, with administrators at RSM working to explore “future options” for its remaining eight stores. – Telegraph
Household confidence is stabilising but consumers are still highly pessimistic about their personal finances, a closely watched survey shows. The gradual easing of the lockdown lifted confidence by three points to 95.8 in May, according to an index published by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research. However, the index is still languishing below the 100 mark that separates optimism from pessimism. – The Times
Wall Street stocks turned in a mixed performance on Friday after Donald Trump said the White House was set to begin taking action to revoke Hong Kong's favoured trade status with the United States.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.07% at 25,383.11, while the S&P 500 was 0.48% stronger at 3,044.31 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 1.29% firmer at 9,489.87.
The Dow closed 17.53 points lower on Friday, carrying on from losses recorded in the previous session as a dire jobless claims report, weaker-than-expected gross domestic product numbers and Trump's announcement of a press conference all weighed on sentiment.
Friday's main focus was Trump's news conference on China, where the President said he would take steps to revoke the city's favoured trade status with the United States in response to a controversial new security law passed by Beijing that would effectively bar political protest in Hong Kong.
"I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment," Trump said.
"My announcement today will affect the full range of agreements that we have with Hong Kong, from our extradition treaty, to our export controls and technologies," he added.
"We will take action to revoke Hong Kong's preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China."