FTSE100 steadied as investors mulled the new lockdowns in France and Germany and heavy falls in markets in the US overnight. London’s blue-chip index was up 4 at 5,587 at the open.
Lloyds Banking helped the mood as it reported a better-than-expected third quarter due to a boom in demand for mortgages. Pre-tax profits of a £1bn were twice market forecasts.
Britain's car industry, though, has had its worst September in 25 years. Around 115,000 cars were produced during the month, 5% down on this time last year.
Among the small caps, Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) has spudded the Cascadura Deep-1 exploration well onshore Trinidad and Tobago. The junior oiler started drilling ahead of schedule in what has been a hugely successful programme so far.
Supermarket Income REIT PLC’s (LON:SUPR) rapid expansion continues with a Sainsbury's supermarket in Newcastle upon Tyne the latest addition. Costing £53mln, the site comprises a 68,000 square feet net sales area and purpose-built online fulfilment docks.
Festive news for Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG), which signed new Christmas contracts with shopping centres in the UK. The entertainment firm will showcase its Elfie Christmas bundle in Birmingham and Santa's Express and Santa's sleigh in Luton.