FTSE 100 LIVE: UK market drops amid fears pandemic could last YEARS

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The index of Britain’s biggest firms was down this morning as it wiped out much of the big gains it saw this week as several countries showed signs of easing lockdowns. The drop comes as BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg warned Boris Johnson may have a tough task in convincing Britons to leave their homes when he lifts strict measures.  She said the Prime Minister hinted in his speech on Thursday that ministers were worried about the prospect of people being too afraid to venture outside.

Bitcoin price news: Is the Covid-19 pandemic driving interest in BTC?

FTSE 100 LIVE: Global equities plummeted (Image: GETTY)

Bitcoin price news: Is the Covid-19 pandemic driving interest in BTC?

Boris Johnson may have struggle to convince Britons to leave their homes as the lockdown is lifted (Image: GETTY)

 She also said she had heard from a Cabinet source that the administration was aware of parents’ concerns about schools reopening.

“I think in there is a hint actually of nothing to do with science, but something that Cabinet ministers are very worried about is that people might be really, really frightened to leave the house,” she said.

“Now, someone from the Cabinet told me about data in polling that suggested that about half of parents didn’t feel that it would be safe enough to send their kids back to school even if they could.

“And there is a real nerve in Government about how do you get people back on the tube after something like this?

“How do you encourage people to go to work?”

Mr Johnson will next week publish the Government’s lockdown exit strategy which will act as a “road map” for the months ahead.

SEE BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES:

Bitcoin price news: Is the Covid-19 pandemic driving interest in BTC?

The Government may struggle to convince Britons to leave their homes when the lockdown eases (Image: GETTY)

Bitcoin price news: Is the Covid-19 pandemic driving interest in BTC?

Donald Trump has threatened to slap new tariffs on China over the virus crisis (Image: GETTY)

12.25pm update: COVID-19 general insurance losses seen higher than 9/11 claims

An insurance broker has estimated the general insurance losses across key classes in the US and the UK from coronavirus to be somewhere between $ 32 billion (£25.5 bn) and $ 80 billion (£63.8 bn).

The figures from Willis Towers Watson surpass claims made form the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

A report by the broker showed early estimates for US and UK business interruption, contingency, Us Directors & Officers, US employment practices, liability, US general liability, US mortgage, trade credit and surety and US workers’ compensation

11.00am update: Chinese yuan falls on threat of US tariffs

The Chinese yuan fell to a one-month low versus the dollar on Friday, marking its worst day since March 25.

The fall comes after Donald Trump on Thursday accused China of mishandling the COVID-19 outbreak and threatened to slap new tariffs on Beijing.

The Chinese yuan fell in the offshore market by 0.7 percent to 7.1350 versus the US currency, its lowest since April 2.

10.46am update: Spanish GDP pummelled by coronavirus pandemic

Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP) will contract 9.2 percent in 2020, surpassing the fall during the country’s Great Recession of 2008-2013, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said on Friday.

GDP is expected to recover in 2021 and expand 6.8 percent, she added.

The economy minister said she expected an “asymmetric V-shape recovery, with the deepest decrease in the second quarter and then a strong and gradual recovery in the second half of the year”.

9.35am update: World stocks fall further

World stocks pulled back further on Friday on grim US economic data, mixed company results and Donald Trump’s threat to impose new tariffs on China.

MSCI’s index of global stocks fell 0.5 percent after a tumble late Thursday broke a six-day winning streak for the index.

In Asia, with many markets closed, the benchmark Nikkei index fell 2.8 percent, with declines led by chipmaking firms.

Australian shares fell 5 percent, their most in five weeks.

8.53am update: London stocks slide amid Trump tariff threats

The FTSE 100 was down 2.2 percent at 7.06am on Friday, wiping out much of the strong gains it had seen this week on signs of several countries rolling back lockdown measures.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index fell 1.3 percent, as US President Donald Trump said late on Thursday his hard-fought trade deal with China was now of secondary importance to the pandemic.

The Trump administration is devising retaliatory measures for China over the outbreak.

British Airways operator IAG shed another 2.6 percent as details of its plans to cut staffing, including a quarter of its pilots, and weather the collapse in air travel under the coronavirus continued to seep out.

Overall trading volumes were thin as many markets elsewhere in Europe were closed for the May 1 public holiday.

8.49am update: French rail company SNCF expects €3 billion coronavirus revenue hit

France’s state-owned SNCF railways company estimates it will lose at least €3 billion (£2.62 billion) in revenue as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The predicted losses were reported this morning in Les Echos daily newspaper, citing unnamed sources.

8.12am update: Ryanair to cut 3,000 jobs

Ryanair plans to cut 3,000 jobs and talk to Boeing about delaying plane deliveries as it does not expect European air traffic to recover fully from the coronavirus crisis until 2022, the Irish airline said on Friday.

The majority of the job cuts would affect pilots and cabin crew, chief executive Michael O’Leary said.

The announcement comes two weeks after Ryanair said it could make bumper profits in 2021 and had no plans to defer jet orders.

But in an unscheduled update, the budget airline pushed back the start of a return to normal scheduling to July from June.

The company said it would only fly 50 percent of planned capacity in the three months to the end of September, a period which is usually its busiest season.

The airline said it was now reviewing growth plans and plane orders and was in talks with Boeing and aircraft lessors to cut the number of deliveries over the next 24 months.

Mr O’Leary said in the update for investors: “Ryanair now expects the recovery of passenger demand and pricing (to 2019 levels) will take at least two years, to until summer 2022 at the earliest.”

7.45am update: FTSE 100 set to be down 96 points

The FTSE 100 is expected to open around 96 points lower at 5,805, according to IG data. 

Markets major European economies including Germany, Italy and France are closed for Labour Day.

On Thursday European stocks finished out their strongest month since October 2015.

7.35am update: Australia defends trade relationship with China amid virus row

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the country’s relationship with China “mutually beneficial” on Friday.

His comments come in the midst of an intensifying row with Beijing over a proposed international inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak.

China, Australia’s top trading partner, has accused Canberra of “petty tricks” in the dispute that could affect diplomatic and economic ties between the countries.

6.11am update: Trump threatens new tariffs on China in retaliation for coronavirus

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday his hard-fought trade deal with China was now of secondary importance to the coronavirus pandemic and he threatened new tariffs on Beijing, as his administration crafted retaliatory measures over the outbreak.

Trump’s sharpened rhetoric against China reflected his growing frustration with Beijing over the pandemic, which has cost tens of thousands of lives in the United States alone, sparked an economic contraction and threatened his chances of re-election in November.

Two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a range of options against China were under discussion, but cautioned that efforts were in the early stages. Recommendations have not yet reached the level of Trump’s top national security team or the president, one official told Reuters.

“There is a discussion as to how hard to hit China and how to calibrate it properly,” one of the sources said as Washington walks a tightrope in its ties with Beijing while it imports personal protection equipment (PPE) from there and is wary of harming a sensitive trade deal.


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