Latest News

UK News

Click Here to read UK News

Forex News

Click Here to read Forex News

Market News

Click Here to read Market News

Irish News
/fxcentre/i-want-to/read-news
UPDATE 2-UK shares drop as job support scaled back; AstraZeneca weighs
Published at 24/09/2020 at 17:09

(For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon news window)

* Sunak delays ending hospitality sector tax cut

* New measures won't eliminate economic hit entirely - analyst

* AstraZeneca's U.S. trials for COVID-19 vaccine yet to be resumed

* Cineworld tumbles on weak earnings

* FTSE 100 down 1.3%, FTSE 250 drops 1.1%

(Updates market reaction after UK's new job protection measures, adds closing prices)

By Susan Mathew and Shashank Nayar

Sept 24 (Reuters) - London shares dropped on Thursday, hitting session lows after Britain scaled-back job support for workers hit by the resurgent coronavirus pandemic, while AstraZeneca slid as U.S. trials for its COVID-19 vaccine remained on hold.

After two days of gains driven by new restrictions to curb a resurgence in COVID-19 cases being less severe than expected, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index fell 1.3%, while the mid-caps index closed down 1.1%.

British finance minister Rishi Sunak unveiled plans to extend loan repayments for businesses and delay ending a tax cut for the hospitality sector.

But under a new programme to replace the job retention scheme, which ends next month, government support will only be available to workers whose employers keep them on at least a third of their normal hours, Sunak said.

While the measures will go some way to cushioning the blow to economic recovery and limiting the long-term hit to unemployment, it won't eliminate the hit entirely, said Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist with Capital Economics, adding this could see GDP stagnate in the last three months of the year.

Analysts also point to uncertainties stemming from possible further restrictions and doubts about a trade deal with the European Union by year-end.

The travel and leisure sector , the worst hit by pandemic-induced restrictions to movement, was down 1.8%.

AstraZeneca lost almost 3%. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is yet to approve the restart of clinical trials of AstraZenaca's potential COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, almost three weeks after it was paused.

Cinema chain Cineworld tumbled 14.8%, recording its biggest single-day fall in over three months, as it swung to a first-half loss and flagged risks to its ability to continue as a "going concern".

Engineering firm Smiths Group slid on reporting a 23% drop in annual profit, while Pets At Home jumped after saying it expects annual earnings to beat market consensus.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Bernard Orr and Alex Richardson)

((Shashank.Nayar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))

((For related prices, Reuters users may click on - *

UK stock report

FTSE index:

techMARK 100 index: FTSE futures:

Gilt futures: Smallcap index:

FTSE 250 index: FTSE 350 index:

Market digest: Top 10 by vol:

Top price gainers: Top % gainers:

Top price losers: Top % losers:

* For related news, click on - *

UK hot stocks: and Wall Street:

Gilts report: Euro bond report

Pan European stock report:

Tokyo stocks: HK stocks:

Sterling report: Dollar report:

* For company prices, click on - *

Company directory: By sector:

* For pan-European market data, click on - *

European Equities speed guide................

FTSE Eurotop 300 index...........................

DJ STOXX index...................................

Top 10 STOXX sectors........................

Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................

Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors..................

Top 25 European pct gainers....................

Top 25 European pct losers..................... ))