Market report: Sterling six week lows and further lockdown woes

The FTSE is higher as we head into early afternoon trade with Sterling still loitering around that six week low and news from drug giant AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) that it is putting its coronavirus vaccine trials on hold after a patient participating got poorly which has triggered fears of finding a solution to coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking of which, the UK government has said gatherings will be slashed from 30 people to 6 people after the rise in coronavirus cases. This news is impacting hospitality stocks including JD Wetherspoon (LON:JDW).

Sterling is still being beaten by concerns over a break down of Brexit deal talks between Britain and the EU and Boris Johnson’s rhetoric going into the talks has been quite tough.

Ryanair (LON:RYA) has cut its target for passenger numbers this year by another 10 million, to 50 million and predicted a price war to encourage passengers to fly.

Among the small caps is Amryt Pharma (NASDAQ:AMYT) (LON:AMYT) which has posted positive results from its skin gel phase III success for skin gel to treat people with a rare and chronic skin disease - there is an interview with the CEO Joe Wiley on our website now.

Argo Blockchain (LON:ARB) has reported a surge in earnings and revenues in its first half - with a surge of Bitcoins mined of over 500% from the previous year.

And Inspired Energy (LON:INSE) has revealed revenue in the half-year to June by 25% to £20.9mln.

Quick facts: AstraZeneca

Price: 7637 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.01 billion


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