Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
There’s a trading update from MJ Gleeson [LON:GLE] out this morning ahead of the year end. A few interesting facts in there as the company restarts work across its portfolio of 67 sites, with the most notable being the fact that reservations over the last two weeks came in at 70% of pre-COVID levels. That’s a significant improvement on the 25% level at the depth of the crisis and is the sort of number that should send a positive message over the outlook for the wider UK economy, too.
BP [LON:BP] has this morning revised pricing assumptions and with that advised the market that a significant impairment charge will be coming with the Q2 numbers. The company had already embarked on a net-zero strategy as it seeks to reimagine itself, but notes now that COVID-19 has the potential to serve a lasting blow to the global economy, too. As such the note contains a warning that a one off impairment charge of $13bn to $17.5bn is to be expected with the Q2 results following asset revaluation. The note also suggests an average price of oil of $55/barrel in the period 2021-2050.
AstraZeneca [LON:AZN] has this morning confirmed it has struck an agreement to supply a pan-European body with 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Late stage trials are already underway with around 10,000 volunteers involved in an Oxford University program run in conjunction with the pharma giant. Shares in Astra have been on an interesting journey of late, touching lows under £59 as the market collapsed in late March before surging above £95 at the start of the month. With the prospect of a second wave of the virus rising, finding a defence quickly will have the potential to yield significant returns. Shares closed at £82 on Friday.
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