FTSE 100 endured a tough start to the day dropping more than 1% on worries over the UK economy, gas prices, furlough ending and China’s need for energy. London’s blue-chip index was down 56 to 7,029 in early trades.
JD Wetherspoon (LSE:JDW) PLC said it is "cautiously optimistic" about the current year as sales begin to recover after posting a record deficit in the year just ended. Losses at the pub chain jumped to £155mln as revenues over the year fell by 39% due to the impact of coronavirus lockdowns.
Business confidence in the UK has slumped according to the British Chambers of Commerce with third-quarter data to show the impact of rising costs for wages and material. The report was due to be published next week but was leaked by the BCC to the FT.
Zoom Video and Five9 have agreed to scrap a merger deal after shareholders voted against it. The US$14.7bn deal was announced in July as video conferencer Zoom tries to diversify its business ahead of a mass return to the office.
Among the small caps, Capital Limited (LSE:CAPD, FRA:C8D) has seen the value of its direct investments portfolio jump 74% in the past three months. It was due to strong performances from Predictive Discovery and Firefinch.
Frontier IP Group Plc (LSE:FIPP) announced that its portfolio company Exscientia priced its Nasdaq IPO at US$22 per share. The group has raised US$304mln.
ReNeuron Group plc (AIM:RENE) has received approval to restart the second phase of trials for its eye disease candidate. The pharma group had to stop studies after a participant contracted an eye infection earlier this year.