Next Back In Business, For An Hour Or Two

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Tuesday, 14th April: The FTSE 100 started flat following the long Easter weekend and gradually slipped into negative territory as the morning went on. The worst performer on the index was Carnival, down circa 6.7% after announcing the cancellation of cruises worldwide until June 26, so far. The sector as a whole seems to continue to be at the receiving end of the turmoil as lockdowns are extended.

Amongst the FTSE 350 sectors, pharmaceuticals & biotechnology topped the list, up 3.7% around mid-day largely due to AstraZeneca which was up almost 6.0% following the success of its trial of a lung cancer treatment, which will not continue to assess its secondary endpoint of overall survival.

The second sector amongst the FTSE 350 sectors was leisure goods, with only one constituent, Games Workshop group, which was up just over 3.0% in the first half of the day.

Fashion retailer Next opened its website on Tuesday morning but closed up at only 9:00 (BST) following an overwhelming response after they received all of the orders they could process for the day. The group closed online operations in late March and have since been upgrading warehouse space to allow for social distancing to take place and employees to work comfortably and will re-open the website on Wednesday morning. The share price was up 2.5% in the afternoon as a result of the successful morning.

At the end of the day the FTSE 100 closed almost 0.9% lower 5791.

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