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Tuesday,19 May 2020 at 16:10

UK and European stocks finished in the red as investors monitored hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and outlooks for economic recovery.

The U.S. dollar edged lower following news of a proposal for a fund that would offer grants to European Union regions and sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

Oil prices were mixed amid signs that producers are cutting output as promised and on signs of increasing demand.

Gold rose on uncertainty over how economies would emerge from a deep slowdown, although optimism about a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus capped bullion’s advance.

In corporate news, Compass slid after saying it was raising £2bn of equity from investors to strengthen its finances after the Covid-19 shutdown caused revenue to almost halve in April.

Imperial Brands was under pressure after it cut its dividend by a third as it tried to speed up debt reduction and strengthen its balance sheet, although it did not cite the coronavirus as a reason. The interim dividend was cut to 41.7p a share from 62.56p a year ago, implying an annual payout of 137.7p. Adjusted operating profit fell 7.7% to £1.47bn.

Going the other way, IAG moved higher amid optimism over the easing of lockdown and travel restrictions, and as investors pinned their hopes on a Covid-19 vaccine.

Markets
At the close
FTSE 100 6,002 (-0.77%)
FTSE 250 16,320 +0.55%
DAX 11,075 +0.15%
At 17:00
Dow Jones 24,558 (-0.17%)
S&P 500 2,958 +0.16%
NASDAQ 9,293 +0.63%
Fixed Income
UK 10-YR YIELD 0.25
Exchange Rates
GBP/USD 1.225
GBP/EUR 1.120
Commodities
Gold $1,740 +0.48%
Brent $34.28 (-3.19%)
This report has been prepared for private circulation. The inclusion of securities within this report does not necessarily imply their suitability for individual portfolios or situations in respect of which further advice should be sought. Information contained in this report has been compiled from sources believed to be reliable but is not warranted to be accurate or complete.
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