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Market report: FTSE calms as optimism vaccine news is challenged by rise in global infections

FTSE 100 had a lukewarm start on Wednesday as positive vaccine news can’t change the current rise in infections and global lockdowns. London’s leading index advanced 11 points to 6,308 in early dealing.

JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) has posted a 28% slump in sales over the past four months amid COVID-19 restrictions. The publican expects to burn through £14mln during the current lockdown.

Great Portland Estates PLC (LON:GPOR) saw the value of its portfolio shed 7% due to its exposure to retail, hospitality and offices in central London locations. The property developer maintained an interim dividend of 4.7p per share.

Meanwhile, shareholders in Hammerson PLC (LON:HMSO) were offered a scrip dividend of 2p as an alternative to the 0.2p interim distribution announced in the summer. The shopping centre owner has also been battered by the pandemic.

Among the small caps, internet domain specialist Minds + Machines Group Limited (LON:MMX) unveiled a share buyback programme in light of its cash position. It is up to a maximum value of £2.3mln.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (LON:TILS) is collaborating with Parexel to trial its monoclonal antibody Foralumab. If approved, it would be the first home treatment for Crohn’s Disease to take by mouth.

Big data firm Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC (LON:RDT) won a three-year contract for its shipment technology. The client is a major multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer based in the UK.

Quick facts: JD Wetherspoon

Price: 1236 GBX

LSE:JDW
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.59 billion
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