Official figures released this afternoon show that the UK death toll has increased by 351 in the last day bringing the total number of deaths to 36,393.

Figures released earlier today show the number of COVID-19 cases in the UK rose by 3,287 overnight, taking the total to 254,195

Key Stories

  • Home Secretary Priti Patel led the Government’s daily press conference this afternoon.
    • Priti Patel confirmed international arrivals in the UK will be told to self-isolate for 14 days from 8th June.
    • She said the new steps would prevent new cases from being imported resulting in a deadly resurgence in the virus.
    • Police spotchecks in people’s homes will be introduced from mid-June and those found to be breaching self-isolation will incur a £1,000 fine.
    • She said repeat offenders could also face unlimited fines or prosecution.
  • The Prime Minister has reportedly called on Civil Servants to draw up plans to reduce the nation’s reliance on China for medical supplies and other strategic imports. Under the codename Project Defence, Whitehall will identify key economic vulnerabilities to hostile international governments. The project could result in a repatriation of key manufacturing capabilities such as pharmaceuticals.
  • Oxford University announced that its COVID-19 vaccine has entered its next phase of human trials as it called for 10,000 volunteers to test the vaccine. It was first tested on two humans on 23rd April in Oxford, following promising results on six monkeys in the US in March.
  • SAGE has published key evidence on the safety and impact of reopening schools. The evidence showed opening nurseries and reception classes would have a smaller effect on the spread of the virus than other primary school years. Both had a smaller effect than opening secondary schools. According to BBC data, 68 out of 99 local councils said they could not guarantee schools would reopen on 1st June.
  • Authorities in Brazil reported a further 888 fatalities bringing the overall death toll to 20,047. Brazil has become the sixth country in the world to report more than 20,000 deaths but experts expect the true death toll to be much higher. Health authorities are concerned Latin America will be the next epicentre of the pandemic after reports that other countries in the region are struggling to contain major outbreaks including Mexico, Chile and Peru.
  • Clap for Carers Founder Anemarie Plas said the weekly clap should end next Thursday, saying it has had its moment. She said the initiative would end on its tenth week and should become an annual event instead. People have been clapping for frontline workers since 26th March.

Market Update

  • Global stocks and oil prices dip as US-China tensions resurface
  • China said it will push through national security legislation in Hong Kong that will ban “treason, secession, sedition and subversion”
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 5.6 per cent lower on Friday, marking the index’s worst one-day performance since July 2015
  • GBP/USD 1.22 -0.4%
  • Oil price (Brent) -3.94% to USD 34.64
  • Oil price (WTI) -3.57% to USD 32.71

UK market

  • The FTSE 100 closed down 0.37% at 5,993.28
  • The FTSE 250 closed up 0.08% at 16,398.86
  • The FTSE 350 closed down 0.29% at 3,343.49

US market at 1pm EST

  • The S&P 500 is down 0.21% at 2,942.36
  • Nasdaq is down 0.04% at 9,281.02
  • Dow Jones is down 0.49% at 24,353.69

FTSE 350 top performers

  • Marstons + 102.7% at 66p
  • Future plc +11.36% at 1,216p

FTSE 350 bottom performers

  • AJ Bell -15.13% at 378.5p
  • Go-Ahead Group -10.58% at 1,099p

Company announcements and sector news

Consumer/retail

  • Marston’s and Carlsberg UK to combine brewing businesses in a joint venture valued at £780m
  • Boparan Restaurant Group has confirmed the acquisition of Carluccio's, taking on 30 trading sites; 40 outlets will be permanently shut, with the loss of 1,000 jobs

Financial services

  • Hong-Kong exposed HSBC, Prudential, Standard Chartered slide on fears over new security law in Hong Kong
  • AJ Bell fell 15% after Invesco, its second-biggest shareholder, sold nearly all its stake for £124 million

Industrials

  • EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou fails to oust the airline’s chairman, CEO and CFO after investors voted against each of his four proposed resolutions at a virtual EGM
  • Emirates expects to have its fleet of A380 jumbo jets flying in two years
  • Hertz could seek bankruptcy if it fails to strike a deal with its creditors

TMT

  • Alibaba post better than expected quarterly results as sales increased 22% to $16bn in the quarter
  • Naspers and Axel Springer have submitted bids for eBay’s classified business