BUSINESS CLOSE: Government campaign to get people back to work

The Footsie ended the week in the red, falling below the 6,00 mark, as the pound hit an eight-month high against the dollar, rising above $1.33. 

The pound strengthened as the dollar fell across the board in the aftermath of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell steered expectations of lower interest rates for longer.

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.6 per cent, or 36 points, at 5,963, while the FTSE 250 closed up 0.15 per cent, or 26 points, at 17,788. The pound has risen more than 1 per cent against the dollar, with £1 buying $1.334 on currency markets.

The Bank of England’s governor Andrew Bailey said the central bank has more ammunition to support the economy during the coronavirus crisis, but it will need to keep enough ‘headroom’ to deal with future crises. 

Elsewhere, a UK Government campaign looks set to be launched next week, encouraging people to get back to the office and get Britain moving again.

The campaign will try and promote the benefits of going back to the office and seek to reassure people about the measures being taken to halt the spread of Covid-19.   

Meanwhile, Gatwick Airport has said demand for air travel might not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025. The West Sussex airport announced a 61.3 per cent fall in revenue and a £321million loss during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2019.

Elsewhere, lender Amigo reported a stinging drop in profits for the last quarter, as it halted lending to the vast majority of potential new customers and saw many existing customers take up payment holidays. 


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