London’s markets rose today despite official data showing the economy grew by just 2.1 per cent in August – less than the 4.6 per cent which analysts were expecting.
The FTSE 100 closed up 38 points at 6,016, while the FTSE 250 closed up 128 points at 18,074. The pound was also unfazed by the latest GDP figures, rising against a weaker dollar above $1.30.
The Government announced an expanded furlough scheme. It will pay two thirds of the wages of staff in pubs, restaurants and other businesses if they are forced to close under new coronavirus restrictions, Rishi Sunak said.
In company news, high street fashion chain Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which owns Peacocks and Jaeger, is close to collapse, with 24,000 jobs in the balance.
The company has lodged a notice of intention to appoint administrators to look for potential buyers to shore up the struggling business. If the company goes under and all the jobs are lost it will be Britain’s largest business casualty so far.
The London Stock Exchange Group has agreed to sell Milan’s Borsa Italiana to pan-European bourse operator Euronext for €4.3billion. The sale is dependent on the group acquiring financial data firm Refinitiv for £21billion.