Market report: Biden on track for US election victory and England goes into lockdown

FTSE100 edged higher as investors remained fixated in the US election and the increasing likelihood it will be President Biden. London’s blue-chip index rose 10 to 5,893.

Counting in the US is still going on and the legal fall-out has started with Trump already threatening to sue over illegal ballots. Here, the second lockdown starts in England today and the Bank of England said it will pump an extra £150bn into the economy as it warned the new restrictions will mean a tougher road to recovery.

In keeping with the mood, Sainsbury’s is to cut 3,500 job cuts and close 420 standalone Argos stores, of which150 will be situated in grocery stores. The firm also posted a £137mln interim loss but hiked the dividend and made a special payment for the final missed last time.

Rail ticket group Trainline PLC (LON:TRN) also said it was confident of surviving the current turmoil even though it posted a £44.7mln loss for the six months to end-August. This was better than the previous year in spite of ticket sales slumping.

Among the small caps, Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) has won a £2.5mln contract to carry out an influenza human challenge study for an unnamed US biotech company. In this type of trial participants are exposed to the disease in a controlled environment.

Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM) soared as it said reconnaissance work conducted at its Dotted Lake property in Ontario, Canada, has confirmed high-grade gold at surface. Panther submitted a total of seven samples from the under-explored Dotted Lake property for analysis at ALS Laboratories Angling

Direct PLC (LON:ANG) expects to deliver results in line with guidance despite its stores closing due to lockdown measures. The fishing retailer will continue trading through its website.

Quick facts: Trainline

Price: 425.6 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £2.05 billion

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