FTSE 100 LIVE: Britain's FTSE to open higher as Pizza Express cuts thousands of jobs

Britain’s FTSE will open higher this morning despite suffering a number of setbacks. PizzaExpress said it would cut another 1,300 jobs across its 370 UK restaurants as new coronavirus restrictions, especially in city centres, kept consumers from eating out. The losses come weeks after the firm said it would cut 1,100 jobs and close 73 restaurants. No further restaurants will close, it says, with this volley of losses split across the remaining sites.

“Our aim throughout these extremely challenging times has been to keep our team members and customers safe and to retain jobs for as long as possible,” Zoe Bowley, Pizza Express managing director said.

“Unfortunately, the recent increase in Covid-19 cases is again causing footfall to decline across the UK.”

This comes after the FTSE 100 closed down on Thursday amid the resurgence of coronavirus sweeping across the European continent.

On Wednesday in America the Dow lost 3.43 percent whilst the S&P saw 3.53 percent of its value shaved off. Japan’s Nikkei 225 performed better only falling by 0.26 percent. At the end of trading on Thursday the FTSE 100 closed down.


9.07am update: Banks handed £66 million by Government in interest on Taxpayer-backed loans to help with covid crisis

Britain’s biggest lenders charged the Government more than £65 million in interest in just three months to provide loans to British businesses during the pandemic.

The Government handed over £65,658,583 for interest on loans between the start of April and the end of June, according to figures obtained by the PA news agency through a freedom of information request.

The interest was paid on loans taken under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Through the schemes, banks lent billions of pounds to small businesses, with the Government promising to pay the interest for the first 12 months, as ministers tried to protect the economy, which is now in a recession.

The bounce back loans have a set 2.5 percent interest rate to avoid excessive charges, however banks can set their own rates for CBILS and CLBILS.

A separate freedom of information response from the British Business Bank, shows that the average interest changed on CBILS loans is 5.1 percent.

7.25am update: British Airways’ parent company IAG has reported a loss after tax and exceptional items of 5.6 billion euros (£5.1 billion) in the first nine months of the year

This is compared with a profit of 1.8 billion euros (£1.6 billion) during the same period in 2019.

The group said: “The results for the nine months were significantly impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19, which has had a material impact on the global airline and travel sectors, particularly from late February 2020 onwards and with no immediate signs of recovery.”


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