FTSE 100 saw a subdued start after summer unemployment numbers hit a three-year high. London’s leading index dropped 30 points to 5,970 in early dealings.
The UK’s unemployment rate rose to 4.5% between June and August while redundancies were at their highest level since 2009. Numbers are expected to get worse during the winter.
Pub group Mitchells & Butlers PLC (LON:MAB) has started consultations to cut staff but it has not yet disclosed how many jobs would go. The All Bar One owner said state financial support is not enough to offset losses from restrictions.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has paused dosing in all its coronavirus vaccine trials after an unexplained illness in a participant. It is not clear whether the individual received the jab or a placebo.
Among the small caps. Shanta Gold revealed punchy numbers from a scoping study of its West Kenya gold project. The study predicts 949,000 ounces can be produced at a cost of US$850 per ounce.
Ncondezi Energy (LON:NCCL) is appointing Scott Fletcher, the group's largest shareholder, to its board. Fletcher has built his position in power group by primarily buying in the market and in recent fundraisings.
Oncimmune (LON:ONC) has signed a commercial agreement with the world-renowned Cedars-Sinai healthcare group to provide antibody profiling for coronavirus (COVID-19) samples. Oncimmune will analyse serum samples from staff exposed to or infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.