FTSE 100 to open lower as US coronavirus deaths pass 1000

Headlines from the Proactive UK newsroom.

The FTSE 100 is expected to open lower this morning as the death toll in the US from coronavirus passed 1,000. US weekly employment numbers are due later and are expected to highlight the crisis in the US economy.

Dixons Carphone expects to lose around £400mln of sales from the closure of its stores in the UK, though some of this will be recouped by what it says is very strong online trading. The electricals retailer will miss its targets this year for profits of £210m and to lower net debt.

Bookmaker William Hill has resumed its search for a new head of finance after Adrian Marsh changed his mind and stayed put at packaging group DS Smith. No reason was given for Marsh’s decision but Smith said he was pleased he was staying in the current challenging climate.

Mirror and Express owner Reach is to pay its 2019 full year dividend, bucking the recent trend that seen has many companies scrap or postpone payments. Reach has net cash of £20mln and said trading has not yet been seriously affected by coronavirus.

Block Energy has increased the size of its acreage in Georgia by thirty times with an agreement to acquire two licences from oil equipment giant Schlumberger. The all-share deal will see Block acquire an exploration prospect and a producing field that at one point was pumping 67,000 barrels per day.

Ariana Resources has received a first ever dividend from its gold mining joint venture in Turkey. Galata, its subsidiary in Turkey has just transferred £1.6mln to Ariana.

Cancer drug developer Sareum has licensed a suite of compounds including its flagship leukaemia treatment to an unnamed China-based pharma group. Sareum receives £50,000 upfront and up to a further £900,000 in milestones.

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