FTSE 100 Live November 25: Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Europe, market reaction to Covid-19, oil prices, Wall Street shutdown, Mitchells & Butlers results

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Europe’s battle to contain a fourth wave of Covid-19 will be the main focus for investors today, as more countries appear ready to increase restrictions.

Airlines and other leisure stocks struggled this week amid renewed uncertainty, leading to mixed trading for the FTSE 100 index and major European benchmarks.

Wall Street is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, which means trading volumes in London will be lighter than usual today. The main highlight of the business is the annual results of the Mitchells & Butlers pub chain.

Live updates

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Wendy’s plans to expand into the UK

The American hamburger chain Wendy’s wants to open 50 more locations in the United Kingdom following the success of its recent return to that country.

The fast food chain is also planning to set up in France, Germany and Spain.

Having left the UK in 1999, Wendy’s recently returned with restaurants in Reading, Stratford, Oxford, Croydon and Romford. It also opened five dark kitchens to offer deliveries to foodservice platforms, including Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Abigail Pringle, director of development for Wendy, said sales have proven to be so popular that the company intends to grow further.

She said: “We have had incredible success that has exceeded our expectations, and it is clear to us that customers love our fresh, high quality food. “

New locations slated for 2022 include Brighton, the Midlands and discussions are underway with franchise partners in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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Hochschild Mining bounces back, Vodafone drops

European markets are struggling to gain momentum as investors worry about the potential for further lockdown restrictions from Covid-19.

The German Consumer Confidence Index highlighted these concerns after the latest reading fell more than expected to its lowest level since June.

The FTSE 100 index was broadly unchanged at 7,290, with lighter-than-usual trading volumes due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.

Vodafone was the elite’s biggest loser, losing 3% after its shares started trading without the right to the interim dividend announced two weeks ago.

There was more to see for investors in the FTSE 250 index, where Hochschild Mining rebounded 20% after the Peruvian government clarified its stance on potential mine closures. African Vivo Energy also rose by more than a fifth after supporting a takeover offer.

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Vivo Energy supports £ 1.7 billion acquisition

Vivo Energy, listed on the FTSE 250, which sells Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, is set to be acquired after backing a deal worth $ 2.3 billion (£ 1.7 billion) .

Energy trader Vitol owns 36% of Vivo and has secured the backing of another founding shareholder, private equity firm Helios, for offering a 25% premium over last night’s price.

Vitol, which completed its first buyout approach in February, created Vivo Energy with Shell and Helios in 2011. Since then, the company has expanded its network of service stations to more than 2,400 and also exports lubricants to several countries. Africans.

It generated revenues of $ 8.3 billion (£ 6.2 billion) and profits of $ 246 million (£ 184 million) in the year leading up to the pandemic.

Vitol’s operations include more than 480,000 barrels per day of refining capacity, while it also owns or markets approximately 6,500 retail gas stations.

Chris Bake, its origination manager, said: “Since we founded Vivo with Helios and Shell, we believe in the potential of the company and are delighted to have it within the Vitol family as a pillar. of our strategy in Africa.

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Fed minutes reveal inflation anxiety

The FTSE 100 index is expected to open 15 points higher at 7301, after closing higher yesterday for the third session in a row.

Performance was aided by the resilience of the energy sector after oil prices traded near one-week highs, while defensive telecommunications and utilities were in demand amid fears about the economic impact of potential new foreclosure measures in Europe.

Cyclical stocks such as leisure and automotive stocks continued their recent decline.

Wall Street took center stage last night before traders left for the Thanksgiving holiday. The tech-laden Nasdaq, which was under pressure earlier this week amid fears of a US interest rate hike, ended 0.4% higher.

The U.S. Federal Reserve minutes last night showed policymakers seemed increasingly concerned about rising prices and their effects on the U.S. economy, with some arguing a decline faster than the $ 15 billion per months agreed two weeks ago.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Market, said: “Over the past two meetings there seems to be a lot less confidence than what we are seeing is transient in nature.”

The US dollar rallied overnight to leave the pound at $ 1.33 against the greenback.

Brent crude, meanwhile, continues to trade above $ 82 a barrel after an initiative by major oil-consuming countries to release some of their strategic reserves failed to exert pressure. downward on prices.


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Felix J. Dixon