6.50am: Slow beginning to new week

The FTSE 100 looks set to open in positive territory on Monday – but only just. The UK index of blue-chips looks set to advance 15 points at open to 6,366, according to the spread betting firms

While Asia’s main markets rose today on vaccine roll-out hopes, traders on this side of the globe appear likely to give a muted response to plans to bring the UK out of lockdown next week.

Later on Monday, Boris Johnson is widely expected to announce the re-opening of non-essential shops, gyms, pubs and restaurants with the curfew on drinking and dining pushed out to 11 pm.

The Prime Minister is also reported to be ready to roll out mass testing in higher infection ‘tier-3’ areas of the country following a trial in Liverpool.

“The move will allow thousands to get back to normal life even if they have come into contact with an infected person,” said the Daily Mail.

“Tens of millions of fast-turnaround tests will also be made available to areas put in the highest level of the new tiered system of Covid restrictions.”

Later this morning preliminary or ‘flash’ purchasing managers’ index surveys for the first weeks of November will provide a litmus test for the strengthj of the UK manufacturing and services sectors.

October saw a weakening in the numbers compared with August and September, and November will see a continuation of that downward trend, according to CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

The services sector, he said, will bear the brunt as a result of the England-wide lockdown that came into effect on November 5.

It is expected to be another busy week for corporate news, led by the utilities with Pennon Group (LON:PNN), United Utilities (LON:UU.) and Severn Trent PLC (LON:SVT) all scheduled to report earnings.

Insurer Aviva (LON:AV.), caterer Compass (LON:CPG), retailer Pets at Home (LON:PETS), Britvic (LON:BVIC), the mixers group, and Daily Mirror owner Reach (LON:RCH) provide the other major highlights from a fairly packed reporting roster.

On the markets:

  • Pound worth US$1.3326 (+0.38%)
  • Bitcoin US$18,400.88 (-0.43%)
  • Gold US$1,877.40 an ounce (-0.04%)
  • Brent crude US$45.25 a barrel (+0.64%)

6.45am: Early Markets – Asia/Australia

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Monday as investors continue to monitor coronavirus (COVID-19) developments.

South Korea’s Kospi led gains by surging 1.87% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.42%.

Chinese stocks were higher with the Shanghai composite rising 1.13% but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.08%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.34% led by the big miners as the price of iron ore surged by about 10% this month to a near 6-year high.


Proactive Australia news:

Pantoro Limited (ASX:PNR) has received further high-grade results from a four-hole follow-up drilling program at Sailfish Prospect on Lake Cowan at the Norseman Gold Project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields.

Vango Mining Ltd‘s (ASX:VAN) initial four holes at the Contessa Prospect of the Ned’s Creek JV project with Lodestar Minerals Ltd (ASX:LSR) in Western Australia, show significant intersections and confirm open-pit resource potential.

Musgrave Minerals Ltd (ASX:MGV) has received further strong gold results which confirm the White Heat discovery and boost other regional targets at the flagship Cue Gold Project in Western Australia.

Anteris Technologies Ltd‘s (ASX:AVR) (OTCMKTS:AMEUF) (FRA:DDF) 3D single-piece aortic valve DurAVR(TM) has been selected as a ‘Best Innovation’ at the PCR London Valves 2020 virtual conference.

Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) ongoing drilling at its 100%-owned Carlow Castle Project in the west Pilbara region of Western Australia has revealed a high-grade gold and copper discovery well below the existing 2019 JORC resource envelope.

Australian Potash Ltd (ASX:APC) has signed a fifth offtake agreement which takes total offtake secured from the Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash Project (LSOP) in Western Australia to 100% of the 150,000 tonnes annual output outlined in the definitive feasibility study (DFS).

K2fly Ltd (ASX:K2F) has completed the integration of software developer SATEVA and has officially launched its high-performance storage and analytics solution – Model Manager – to miners globally as well to its existing mineral inventory customer base.

Imugene Limited’s (ASX:IMU) (OTCMKTS:IUGNF) ongoing randomised Phase 2 study of HER-Vaxx in Her-2/Neu overexpressing advanced metastatic gastric/GEJ cancer shows positive overall survival (OS) with a Hazard Ratio of 0.418.

BlackEarth Minerals NL (ASX:BEM) is encouraged by results from its first program of field exploration on the Donnelly River Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Metals (PGM) south of Perth, Western Australia.

Element 25 Limited’s (ASX:E25) (FRA:QFP) project development activities continue to accelerate at its 100%-owned Butcherbird Manganese Project in Western Australia, with the appointment of a mining contractor and resident manager.

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