FTSE 100 was buoyed early by the record highs seen on Wall Street overnight on the possibility Joe Biden might soon be declared President. London’s blue-chip index rose 35 to 6,461.
Later today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak will unveil the government's spending plans for the coming year. Think-tanks have suggested that the Treasury will need to find around £40bn per year in extra tax to plug the gap left by the coronavirus crisis.
Virgin Money UK PLC (LON:VMUK) posted a yearly loss after tax of £141mln after £501m of bad debt charges, plus a further £292mln of exceptional items. Most of these related to the merger of CYBG and Virgin Money in August last year.
Future PLC (LON:FUTR), the magazine and website publisher, has agreed to buy GoCompare price comparison site owner GoCo Group PLC (LON:GOCO). Future’s final results also showed a quadrupling of profits on revenues up 53%.
Among the small caps, Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS) has signed a five-year Strategic Research Agreement with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The partners will apply clinical AI research to improve patient care and speed up new medicines development.
Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS), meanwhile, has been selected by a consortium working with the UK government for cybersecurity purposes. The junior software company will provide its platform for a new device security certification programme.
Ncondezi Energy Ltd (LON:NCCL) raised £750,000 in an oversubscribed placing, with 16mln shares placed at 4.5p each. The power company will use the funds to cover corporate costs for negotiations with authorities in Mozambique.