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Morning Report: FTSE 100 rallies as Italians ban short selling

Headlines from the Proactive UK newsroom.

The FTSE 100 rallied this morning even though Asian markets suffered more pain overnight.  London’s blue chip index opened around 157 points higher at 5,395 after giving up 639 points yesterday.

Italy has introduced a temporary ban on short-selling stocks. Milan’s main index tumbled 17% yesterday.

Philip Jansen, BT’s chief has started to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus. Jansen says his symptoms are currently sufficiently mild for him to carry on running the business remotely.

Saga (LON:SAGA) has suspended all cruise bookings for six weeks due to government advice that people over-70 should avoid them due to coronavirus fears. The move will cost the over-50s specialist between £10-15mln in lost profits.

Premier Oil (LON:PMO) has tried to reassure investors after its share price has been battering in recent days. Production in February was 76,600 barrels per day with 30% of output hedged at US$60 per barrel and a break even price this year of under US$50 a barrel.

Redx Pharma (LON:REDX) has received a takeover approach from private group Yesod Bio-Sciences that might lead to an offer worth 15p per share. The offer compares to a market price of 5p and the cancer and fibrosis drug group is discussing the approach with its largest shareholder.

Frontier IP (LON:FIPP) portfolio company The Vaccine Group has broadened its research to include a potential coronavirus vaccine for use in animals. Studies in rabbits have validated the technology, the group says, with trials set to start in bovine TB and African swine fever.

Italy-based graphene group Directa Plus (LON:DCTA) says trading in the quarter to March has been robust in spite of the coronavirus lockdown across the country.  Revenues in the three months will be up 200% at €1.52mln with good demand for its oil clean-up product.

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