Despite worries over President Trump’s health and added jobs cuts in the UK, investors focused on the increasing prospects of another stimulus package getting voted through in the US. At midday UK stocks were ahead by 0.9% to trade at 5,954 points.

CINEWORLD SHUTS UP SHOP

Shares in Cineworld (CINE) collapsed 40% to 23.8p after the cinema operator confirmed weekend press reports that it would temporarily close all its UK and Irish theatres from this Thursday, as well as closing its US Regal theatres, due to uncertainty over the timing of new film releases.

Last week US studio MGM delayed the release of the latest James Bond film until April next year.

The firm admitted that the closures would impact close to 45,000 employees and that it was assessing ‘several sources of additional liquidity’ with all options being considered.

BIG WIN FOR WEIR

Shares in mining equipment firm Weir (WEIR) were among the best performers, up 18% - their biggest one-day gain in more than 20 years - to £15.2 after the company revealed it was in talks to sell its oil and gas business to Caterpillar for $405 million in cash as part of its strategy to turn itself into a ‘premium mining technology pure play’.

Net proceeds from the sale, which is expected to complete by the end of this year, will reduce net debt to EBITDA from June’s level of 1.9 times.

Low-cost airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) reported 1.6 million passenger journeys in September compared with over 3.8 million in the same month a year ago as it continues to operate at just 60% of normal capacity.

The firm maintained its record of generating the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger/km with its latest Airbus A320neo liners also creating much less noise pollution than previous generation aircraft. Shares climbed 0.3% to £31.7.

Self-storage firm Big Yellow (BYG) announced it had secured a resolution to grant planning permission for a 106,000 sq ft site in Kings Cross with work to begin next January.

Total development costs are estimated at £52 million while annual net operating profits are seen at £4.5 million making the site ‘highly accretive to earnings’. Shares slipped 0.3% to £10.32.

Luxury handbag maker Mulberry (MUL:AIM) posted a £9.3 million operating loss for the 12 months to the end of March but said that trading over the last six months had been ahead of its expectations and it expected losses to reduce.

Most of its UK and European stores have re-opened and digital sales have remained strong, leaving the company with net cash, although it scrapped the final dividend due to ‘considerable uncertainty about future performance’. Shares dipped 4% to 160p.

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Issue Date: 05 Oct 2020