London’s FTSE 100 edged 0.28% higher to 6,385.65 early on Monday morning as investors weighed optimism about a potential Covid-19 vaccine against fears of a more severe economic fallout from the pandemic as virus cases continue to rise.

Investors continued to worry about a potential no-deal Brexit as the 31 December end to the transition period nears, with few signs of a trade deal being struck with the European Union yet.

NEW LEADERSHIP AT LLOYDS

Banking group Lloyds (LLOY) rose 0.9% to 37.6p after announcing the appointment of Charlie Nunn as its new chief executive.

Currently CEO of wealth and personal banking at HSBC (HSBA), Nunn will replace Lloyds’ incumbent boss Antonio Horta-Osorio in 2021.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) added 2.0% to trade at £79.22 after its diabetes drug Forxiga was approved in Japan to treat patients with chronic heart failure.

Drug company Indivior (INDV) rallied 9.8% to 109.5p after it insisted it will ‘vigorously defend’ itself against a £1 billion claim brought by former parent Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) over an opioid addiction treatment.

Indivior said the claim against the company in London is ‘without merit’ and it has ‘strong grounds for defending against the claim should it be served’.

Consumer goods giant Unilever (ULVR) added 1.4% to £46.49 as the Marmite maker said it had completed the unification of its British and Dutch businesses into a single UK-based parent company.

Security company G4S (GFS) slipped 0.6% to 226.7p after potential suitor GardaWorld extended the deadline for shareholders to accept its 190p a share takeover offer from 16 December to 28 December.

Mike Ashley’s Frasers (FRAS) fell 2% to 438p after confirming it has offered £50 million of emergency funding to Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion group, which is teetering on the brink of administration.

Frasers is ‘now awaiting a substantive response’ and said that should efforts to agree an emergency funding package fail and Arcadia enters into administration, then it would be ‘interested in participating in any sale process’.

Pet specialist Pets at Home (PETS) perked up 1.5% to 430p on news that it has acquired veterinary telemedicine company The Vet Connection for £15 million.

KEYSTONE CLIMBS ON GUIDANCE UPGRADE

Elsewhere, challenger law firm Keystone Law (KEYS:AIM) climbed 9% higher to 490p after raising profit guidance following an ongoing recovery across its business.

During the second half of the year to date, Keystone has continued to ‘see recovery across all areas of its business with like for like performance having now returned to very near pre-Covid levels’.

Wandisco (WAND) was marked up 1.1% to 465p after the LiveData company announced a contract worth $3 million with ‘one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies’ to migrate one of its on-premises data lakes to Microsoft Azure ‘as its embarks on its cloud transformation journey’.

Chemistry and technology company Accsys Technologies (AXS:AIM) advanced 6.3% to 113.5p after swinging to profit in the first half of the year as higher margins offset a slip in revenue.

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Issue Date: 30 Nov 2020