The Prime Minister is due to lay out plans to reopen UK work places at some point this week and documents leaked to the Sunday newspapers provided a glimpse into the blue print. Staggered shifts, social distancing and plastic screens in shops and bank branches will be put in place so that businesses and retail outlets can open their doors again. Unlike its European peers the FTSE started the week on a slightly positive note, initially withstanding the tide of negative sentiment prompted by renewed tariff fears after President Trump intesified his attacks on China.
In London, Ppharma firms, waste disposal firm Rentokill Initial and delivery group Ocado are among the top gainers this morning, followed by gold miner Polymetal, a corona defence stock. Hikma Pharmaceuticals, a maker of non-branded generic medication, continued last week’s rally which was prompted by the company reporting revenue growth despite difficult market conditions.
This week could see several heated boardroom discussions over chief executives’ bonus payments starting with Ocado where chief executive Tim Steiner expects to see a payout of £59m in the form of a long term bonus. GlaxoSmithKline and Barclays will also have board meetings this week.
BoE’s quarterly inflation report
This week’s Bank of England quarterly inflation report is bound to make uncomfortable reading, showing for the first time in detail how big an impact the last month and a half of the lockdown have had on the UK economy. The big question is, will the Bank be able to continue with the emergency bond purchases announced in March or will it start having to reduce its quantitative easing programme?