FTSE 100 was caught in a Europe-wide maelstrom as France and Germany prepared national lockdowns to halt rising coronavirus infection. US jitters added to the uneasy mood and London’s blue-chip index slumped to 5,596.
Mercedes-Benz is to up its stake in James Bond car maker Aston Martin Lagonda to 20% as part of the UK firm’s ongoing recovery plan. The cash-strapped luxury car group raised another £125mln overnight.
Next PLC (LON:NXT) upgraded its profit forecasts for its current year after third-quarter revenues came in better than expected. Online sales jumped 23%. Insatiable demand for cloud computing power meanwhile helped tech titan Microsoft cruise past Wall Street forecasts for sales in its latest quarter. Cloud arm Azure saw 48% growth.
On a smaller scale, Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS) is become a strategic partner of the US software giant with the pair working together on AI and health cloud technologies. Sensyne will collaborate with Microsoft on 'cloud-first' healthcare systems and predictive machine learning algorithms.
Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (LON:CHAR) has received approaches from two parties interested in debt-financing the development of the Anchois gas discovery, offshore Morocco. Africa Finance Corporation and an unnamed bank are the two groups showing an interest.
Oncimmune Holdings PLC’s (LON:ONC) EarlyCDT lung blood test will be part of a large-scale study in the US to assess its potential use in screening people with low-to-moderate risk lung nodules. The Oncimmune technology is being used in a clinical assessment being carried out by partner Biodesix.