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  • FTSE 100 index closes 95 points down
  • US retail sales rise by 1.2% in July
  • France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba have been removed from the list of “travel corridors” to England

5pm: FTSE 100 closes firmly in red

FTSE 100 index closed the week on a sour note as markets fretted about disappointing US and China data.

The UK's index of the largest shares closed down over 95 points on the day, or 1.55% at 6,090. But over the week as a whole, the index was up a shade, around 0.9%.

Looking at Wall Street's performance too on Friday, Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG, noted: "With a wide-ranging stimulus package seemingly some way off as things stand, investors may have to bide their time if they are expecting another US-led surge in stocks. Coming off the back of a disappointing set of Chinese data points overnight, we are certainly seeing a slowing recovery despite the initial post-lockdown rebound."

US and Canada 4pm/11am EST

Wall Street shares were seeing red in early deals on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed around 22 at 27,874. The broader-based S&P 500 index was down around two points at 3,370. The tech heavy Nasdaq index plunged over 47 points at 10,994. In Toronto, Canada, the S&P/TSX index was down 0.99 at 16,529.

Proactive North America headlines:

Revive Therapeutics Ltd (CSE:RVV) (OTC:RVVTF) inks memorandum with Atwill Medical to support its coronavirus clinical trial of Bucillamine

Mojave Jane Brands Inc (CSE:JANE) (OTCMKTS:HHPHF) sells Nelson & Mark as the company's board nears completion of its strategic review

Dyadic International Inc (NASDAQ:DYAI) reveals rising R&D revenue in 2Q results from a bevy of research collaborations

Arizona Silver Exploration Inc (CVE:AZS) (OTCMKTS:AZASF)set to sink four holes with core rig at Philadelphia project

The Valens Company Inc (TSE:VLNS) (OTCQX:VLNCF) and Verse Cannabis launch new premium vape cartridges and CBD oils for Canadian consumers

Duos Technologies Group Inc (NASDAQ:DUOT) sees 2Q revenue rise 47% driven by deal flow as it adapts to new normal at work

Pure Gold Mining (CVE:PGM) (LON:PUR) on track to deliver first ore for processing before year-end at Red Lake

Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) to provide 60M COVID-19 vaccine doses to UK government

MindMed Inc (NEO:MMED) (OTCQB:MMEDF) ends 2Q with US$24 million in cash to fund clinical trials on psychedelic substances

Fura Gems Inc (CVE:FURA) (OTCMKTS:FUGMF) to acquire Australian mining group Great Northern Mining

3.00pm: NASDAQ continues to go its own way

In a familiar scene, the NASDAQ Composite has opened higher in the US while the other two main indices have headed south.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ was up 6 points (0.1%) at 11,049 while the Dow was off 87 points (0.3%) at 27,809 and the S&P 500 was off 5 points (0.1%) at 3,369.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 100 points (1.6%) at 6,086.

Bookie GVC PLC (LON:GVC), which earlier was the second-biggest faller among Footsie constituents on fears that more sporting events will be cancelled as the second wave of coronavirus cases builds, has recovered a bit to be down 3.2% at 774.8p.

Its place in the doghouse has been taken by Informa PLC (LON:INF), the exhibitions organiser, which is lower for much the same reason – fears of a COVID-19 resurgence. The shares were down 3.8% at 406.2p.

Grant Shapps gives wrong day for start of France quarantine rules https://t.co/MZT4pMCKSC

— Pat (@pat_pjg) August 14, 2020

2.15pm: US retail sales recover

US retail sales rose by 1.2% in July, after a revised 8.4% increase in June.

The rise was below expectations of 2.0%, although as Junes rise has been revised up from 7.3% the comparison with expectations requires a bit of complicated arithmetic that, fortunately, Marshall Gittler of BDSwiss has done for us.

“The headline figure for US retail sales ("advance") looks like it missed expectations for mom growth, but this was because the previous month was revised up sharply. In fact, after taking into account the revision, the figure actually beat expectations slightly ($536.0bn vs $535.3bn expected). The other categories — excluding autos — all beat even after the upward revision to the previous months. Retail sales were higher in July than they were in January or Feb, before the virus struck. In other words this was a great number — USD-positive! Or at least "risk-on" positive — stocks should gain,” Gittler said.

His arithmetic may be good but it remains to be seen whether his prognostication skills are on the money as the quotes for the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 have both softened a bit since the retail sales figures were released.

The Dow is now expected to open at around 27,810 (down 76 points) and the S&P 500 at around 3,370 (down 3 points).

On this side of the pond, traders are more concerned about France being added (along with five other countries) to a list of countries where quarantine restrictions will apply to travellers returning to England from those destinations.

France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba have been removed from the list of “travel corridors” following data showing a significant increase in COVID-19 risk.

The FTSE 100 was down 113 points (1.8%) at 6,072.

12.50pm: The Footsie's recovery is slow as sterling rides high on forex markets

Londons index of leading shares is slowly recovering, despite expectations of a lower start on Wall Street.

The FTSE 100 was down 102 points (1.7%) at 6,083, with the indexs many dollar-earning constituents not helped by a good day for sterling against the greenback.

The pound was up just over a third of a cent at US$1.3105.

Spread betting quotes suggest the Dow Jones will open at around 27,821 and the S&P 500 at around 3,370 – down 75 and 3 points respectively.

Traders are waiting for the release of US retail sales, with economists expecting a 2% rise for July following Junes 7.5% increase. Excluding sales of vehicles, sales are expected to rise by 1.1% following Junes 7.3% gain.

????RISK AVERSION FRIDAY:
1. CoRoNaViRuS global cases top 21M+.
2. Stocks ????
3. BONDS ???? USD ???? safe havens
4. $VIX ???? (watch 30)
5. CRUDE ???? COPPER ???? (watch 2.8860)
6. No US COVID Relief Deal ????
7. US retail sales
8. US consumer sentiment
9. Recession
10. Deflation
what else? https://t.co/z8kavl3YfM

— NYC SHUTDOWN WK 22 ???????? (@piptrain) August 14, 2020

11.55am: Stabilisation in the second half of the morning

The FTSE 100, after a precipitous fall early doors, has stabilised in the second half of the morning.

Londons blue-chips index was down 130 points (2.1%) at 6,055, some 19 points above its low point for the day.

After nudging up 3p yesterday in the wake of its interim results, GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC), the online betting specialist that snapped up the Coral and Ladbrokes brands, is off 5% (40p) at 760p today.

Domino's Pizza Group PLC (LON:DOM) was down 3.9% at 343.6p after Citi issued a sell note with a target price of 290p.

10.50am: Triple-digit fall for the Footsie

Dull and overcast is not just a description of the weather conditions in London; it accurately describes the stock market too.

The FTSE 100 has slumped 133 points (2.2%) to 6,052, with travel and hospitality-related stocks really getting it in the neck.

“The FTSE 100 faltered badly on Friday, taking its cue from weak trading in Asia overnight sparked by worse than expected economic data out of China,” said Russ Mould, the investment director of AJ Bell.

“China was first in to the coronavirus crisis and arguably one of the first to come out of its first phase, so the fragile nature of its recovery offers an uncomfortable view of the future for other countries. Amid weakening sentiment, safe haven gold steadied at around the $1,950 mark,” he added.

Traders cant even console themselves with the prospect of a crafty look at the cricket; it is looking like it might be too dark for much – if any – play to take place this morning in the second test between England and Pakistan.

Just three Footsie stocks are defying the trend – packaging giant Smurfit Kappa Group plc (LON:SKG) and two housebuilders, Persimmon PLC (LON:PSN) and Taylor Wimpey PLC (LON:TW.).

Away from the big caps, Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP), up 28% at 92.5p, was providing plenty of cheer as the firm said it is gearing up for a busy period with two clinical trials of its lead drug ensifentrine set to get underway before the end of the year.

Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) shares surged 23% to 20p after the group released a resource upgrade for the Toral lead-zinc-silver project located in northern Spain.

$EUZ Europa Metals shares surge as it upgrades Toral lead-zinc-silver resources https://t.co/0FRiKqnu8g via @proactive_UK @EuropaMetals #EUZ

— Proactive (@proactive_UK) August 14, 2020

9.30am: Leisure and travel stocks hit hard by quarantine decision on France

Just three Footsie constituents were in positive territory as the index slumped below the 6,100 level, with travel and hospitality-related stocks hit hardest.

Londons index of leading stocks was down 95 points(1.5%) at 6,091.

British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (LON:IAG), down 5.6% at 192.95p, after fears of a second wave of coronavirus cases look like being realised in many parts of the world.

Aeroplane engines maker Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LON:RR.) was down 4.5% at 255.6p while automotive and aerospace engineer Melrose Industries PLC (LON:MRO) was off 3.7% at 102.7p.

Hotels groups Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC (LON:IHG) and Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB) were also feeling the chill, as was contract caterer Compass Group PLC (LON:CPG); all three were down by around 4%.

“With France being added to the quarantine list for the UK, travel & leisure is under pressure. Shares in IAG, Ryanair, Tui and EasyJet were all sharply lower as the move will force a large swathe of cancellations right at the peak of the summer holiday season for one of the largest markets for UK tourists,” observed Neil Wilson at markets.com.

“The quarantine decision also underlines the inherent risk you take in booking a holiday abroad right now, which will do nothing for consumer confidence,” he added.

Talking of easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ), the low-cost airline completed the previously announced sale and leaseback of 23 aircraft but thats not the reason why the shares are down 7.% at 564.99p.

People arriving in the UK from France after 04:00 BST on Saturday will have to quarantine for 14 days, minister says https://t.co/gslgqG33Mw

— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) August 13, 2020

8.30am: Weak start to Friday

The FTSE 100 index defied predictions for a positive start on Friday to open in negative territory as UK share prices reflected worries over a lacklustre batch of economic data from China and the inability of Americas senior politicians to agree a renewed stimulus package

The index of UK blue-chips fell 33 points to 6,152.18.

Markets in Asia began to wobble after Beijing announced a seventh straight monthly decline in retail sales and said fixed-asset investment in areas such as infrastructure and property also fell, defying predictions of a rebound.

Closer to home, the UK looks set to add France to its list of quarantine countries as an upsurge in cases across Europe threatens to derail a return to normality after the lifting of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

On the market, the fallers were the regular assortment of lockdown laggards – anything with links to air travel and hospitality.

So, Rolls Royce PLC (LON:RR.), the jet engine maker, was off 4.2%, while British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG) was off 3.5%. Intercontinental Hotels (LON:IGH) made up the trio of Footsie losers with a 1.9% decline.

Dropping down to the second-tier, tour operator TUI (LON:TUI) continued its post-results slide with a 6.2% decline, with budget airline easyJet (LON:EZJ), off 5%, following in its vapour trails.

Finally, Dominos Pizza (LON:DOM) fell 5% after Citi reiterated its sell advice on the stock in the takeaway food giant.

Proactive news headlines:

Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) shares surged in early deals on Friday after the group released a resource upgrade for the Toral lead-zinc-silver project located in northern Spain. The new independent resource estimate is for 3.8mln tonnes with a zinc equivalent grade (including lead credits) of 8.3% and silver at 30 grams per tonne. It marks a 40% increase in overall resource tonnes, including a 38% rise in contained, a 36% increase in lead and a 32% lift to silver volume. Toral now has a total resource of 17mln tonnes grading 6.9% zinc equivalent with 4.1% zinc, 2.9% lead, and 24 grams per tonne silver – representing 720,000 tonnes of zinc, 510,000 tonnes of lead, and 14mln ounces of silver.

Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP) is gearing up for a busy period with two clinical trials of its lead drug ensifentrine set to get underway before the end of the year. “Clinical data from prior studies of ensifentrine in other respiratory diseases have demonstrated ensifentrine improves lung function and reduces cellular markers of inflammation in the lungs,” the company said in an update on operational and financial results for the three months and six months to June 30, 2020. “We believe ensifentrine, with its novel mechanism of action, has the potential to improve oxygenation and lung function assisting recovery from COVID-19.” Financially, Verona is well set to achieve its plans. It ended the six months to June 30, 2020, with net cash of just over £18mln, a figure boosted in July with proceeds from a £159mln private placing.

Westminster Group PLC (LON:WSG), the supplier of managed services and technology-based solutions, has revealed that it moved into profit in the first half of 2020. The group, which was operationally cash positive in the first half of the year, made a profit before tax of £236,000 versus a loss of £787,000 in the first half of last year, on revenues that rose by 24% to £6.96mln from £5.61mln. Underlying earnings (EBITDA) also turned positive, with EBITDA of £893,000, compared to a loss of £49,000 in the same period of last year. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented some challenges to the company but also some opportunities – e.g. fever screening at airports – and Westminster saw a significant increase in product sales worldwide, which more than offset reductions in other parts of the business.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) revealed it has spudded the hotly anticipated Chinook-1 well, its latest exploration test within the Ortoire block, Trinidad as it posted as second-quarter operational update and financial results. The Chinook-1 well is targeting hydrocarbon prospects in the Herrera formation, the same horizon found in the successful Coho and Cascadura discoveries. It will be drilled to a depth of 9,880 feet and the drill programme is expected to take 40 days.

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) has noted the results of new research from the Laboratory of Translational Oncology, School of Medicine, University of Crete, which demonstrated the potential of its Parsortix liquid biopsy system to assess whether non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients will respond to immunotherapy drugs. The AIM-listed firm said the study had combined an assessment of immunotherapy drugs known as PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitors, a novel treatment offered to patients with certain advanced cancers, with a second immune checkpoint, Indolamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), on a patient's circulating tumour cells (CTCs). ANGLE said the study demonstrated that the detection of IDO and CTCs, particularly of the IDO+/PD-L1- CTC subpopulation harvested using Parsortix, is significantly associated with reduced progression-free survival and overall survival in NSCLC patients treated with anti-PD-1 agents.

Horizonte Minerals PLC (LON:HZM) has maintained a strong cash position as it moves towards the Read More – Source