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Morning Report: FTSE 100 lower as Trump repeats demand for action against China on pandemic

Headlines from the Proactive UK newsroom.

The FTSE 100 eased lower as the US again called for action against China for the coronavirus outbreak. President Trump suggested he might impose US$1trn worth of tariffs.

The boss of Heathrow Airport has claimed social distancing rules would mean queues for passengers of a kilometre long. "Forget social distancing, it won't work in aviation or any other form of public transport, wrote John Holland-Kaye.

Airline shares, meanwhile, were under pressure again after legendary investor Warren Buffett said he had been wrong to invest in the industry and had dumped his holdings in all the US’s four top carriers. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment group posted a loss of US$50bn in its first quarter.

Talks are underway to merge UK mobile operator O2 with the Virgin Media network owned by Liberty Global. No deal has been agreed yet, according to O2’s Spanish owner Telefonica.

Pendragon (LON:PDG) has confirmed it approached rival car dealer Looker PLC (LON:LOOK) about a merger but had its proposal rejected. Pendragon believes a merger would have been beneficial to both sets of shareholders.

Open Orphan (LON:ORPH) has signed a new deal with a US bio for the provision of a RSV human challenge study. The group said the contract is expected to deliver £3.5mln in revenue all of which should be recognised this year.

Gfinity (LON:GFIN) is to run a second instalment of the ePremier League Invitational tournament that sees professional players and celebrities represent teams in electronic matches. Participants will play each other in a knock-out format using EA SPORTS FIFA 20 on a PlayStation 4 console.

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