Electrocomponents defers final dividend, Tesco seeking new CEO
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 12 points higher on Tuesday, having closed up 1.48% at 6,166.42 on Monday.
Stocks to watch
Industrial products distributor Electrocomponents deferred its final dividend until it had a clearer view of the coronavirus pandemic's impact as sales fell 14% in the first eight weeks of the current year. The company said it would look at paying an extra interim dividend. Full year pre-tax profits rose 2.3% to £199.6m.
Tesco is looking for a new chief financial officer after Alan Stewart decided to retire from the supermarket group. Stewart will leave the FTSE 100 company on 30 April when he will have been in the job for more than six years. His decision means Tesco's top two executive jobs will change hands with Ken Murphy due to arrive in October to replace Chief Executive Dave Lewis.
PureTech Health announced on Tuesday that its founded company Gelesis has received approval to market ‘Plenity’, a novel weight loss treatment, in Europe. The FTSE 150 firm said Gelesis received a CE-mark for Plenity as a class 3 medical device, indicated for weight loss in overweight and obese adults with a body mass index of between 25 and 40, when used in conjunction with diet and exercise.
Failure by the G20 group of leading developed and developing nations to organise a global Covid-19 recovery plan is a potential death sentence for the world’s poor, the former prime minister Gordon Brown has said. Brown, who pushed successfully for coordinated action during the financial crisis of 2008-09, said the lack of G20 action was disgraceful and risked a second wave of infection for rich countries. – Guardian
Vulnerable people risk being unable to access the money they need to pay for goods and services, unless the government acts to support the “fragile” cash system, the consumer group Which? has warned. The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the adoption of contactless and other cashless transactions across the UK and led to sharp drops in ATM use as more people shop online or opt for what they perceive to be safer payment methods. – Guardian
Britain’s biggest holiday park operator could run out of money within weeks unless the lockdown is lifted, analysts have warned. Parkdean Resorts is being squeezed by customers demanding refunds for holidays cancelled because of coronavirus, experts at credit agency Moody's said, with all of its 67 sites closed since Mar 23. – Telegraph
Ailing retailer Monsoon Accessorize has warned landlords that they have a week to offer up rent waivers or it will shut down stores. The chain issued the ultimatum in a letter as it scrambles to survive the lockdown. Monsoon said it is trying to determine which - if any - of its 220 stores can be kept open. – Telegraph
The City regulator pledged to “get smarter” about cracking down on investment scams and protecting consumers as it banned a group of Cypriot trading firms that had been using fake celebrity endorsements, including Sir Richard Branson, from operating in Britain. In an interview with the Times, Chris Woolard, interim chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, also said he thought the watchdog would have “some painful lessons” to learn from a scandal that erupted last year over unregulated minibonds sold to savers. – The Times
Wall Street stocks finished slightly higher by the closing bell on Monday, after last week's gains helped major averages record their first back-to-back monthly advances since late 2019.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 0.36% at 25,475.02, the S&P 500 added 0.38% to 3,055.73, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.66% firmer at 9,552.05.
It was a session of continuing gains for the Dow, which had opened 51.67 points higher, reversing losses seen 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.
Trump 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," the president 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."