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Morning Report: FTSE 100 starts in the black after decent day on Wall Street

Headlines from the Proactive UK newsroom. The FTSE 100 is set to start in the black following a decent day on Wall Street where the Dow Jones rose by 3.4%. The London index is forecast to rise by 50 points to around 5,710.

Disney's video streaming service has seen subscriber numbers double since February as people are kept at home during the coronavirus crisis. Disney Plus was only launched five months ago but now has more than 50mln subscribers.

Spirits giant Diageo has suspended its £4.5bn share buyback programme but will pay its interim dividend today as planned. The Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff group has been hit hard by the widespread closure of pubs and restaurants .

Redrow is to get a £300mln loan from the UK government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility. The housebuilder has furloughed 80% of its staff and asked lenders for a further £100mln through its debt facility.

Tiziana Life Sciences (LON:TILS) has identified a potential new treatment for coronavirus infections comprising the direct delivery of anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibodies into the lungs using a handheld inhaler or nebulizer. The company has submitted a provisional patent application for the delivery technology.

Silence Therapeutics (LON:SLN), meanwhile, has repurposed equipment in its Berlin site to produce critical reagents for COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test kits,. The work is on a cost only basis and will enable them to significantly increase capacity to produce test kits at short notice with any funds generated to be donated to the fight against coronavirus.

Payments and call centre group Eckoh (LON:ECK) saw another record year in the twelve months to March. The group added it is well placed to deal with any coronavirus disruption as 79% of revenue is recurring and it has a blue-chip customer base.

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