Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:
Ryanair agrees Irish pilot pay cut
Ryanair (RYA.L) has struck a pilots and cabin crew on pay reductions that it says will save jobs.
Ryanair said in a statement on Friday that it had agreed a 20% pay cut for its Irish pilots, following a similar agreement with UK pilots earlier this week.
The budget airline has also agreed a 10% pay reduction for cabin crew with Irish union Fórsa and UK union UNITE.
Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson said the pay reductions would “save the maximum number of Irish and UK Pilot jobs.
“The strength of this acceptance demonstrates the commitment from our pilots in Ireland and the UK to work with Ryanair as we work our way through this crisis over the next number of years,” he said in a statement.
Consumer confidence improves
UK consumer confidence continues to improve, although still remains deep in negative territory.
Market research firm GfK said its long-running consumer confidence survey found sentiment at -27 at the end of June. It marked an improvement of 3 points from the previous period.
“Despite the backdrop of dire warnings about the state of the economy, large-scale job losses, the end of furlough with the prospect of further unemployment, and a possible second-wave of COVID-19, consumers appear to be slightly more confident as lockdown loosens across parts of the UK,” said Joe Staton, GfK‘s client strategy director.
“However, economic headwinds could easily blow any recovery off-course with confidence remaining fragile and volatile amid few signs of stability.”
Amigo Loans warns on complaints
Subprime lender Amigo Loans (AMGO.L) has warned that it faces “materially higher” costs than previously guided to resolve a backlog of complaints.
Earlier this year Amigo was placed under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has struck a voluntary agreement with the watchdog to sort out its complaints procedure. Amigo previously told investors the resolution would cost £35m ($44m).
The FCA has now mandated that Amigo must put in place processes by October that would allow it to deal with all complaints within eight weeks.
Amigo said Friday that the cost of this would be “substantially higher” than £35m and said it would have to “material increase” provisions to cover customer redress as it had seen a rise in customer complaints.
However, the company said “liquidity remains strong” with £136m of cash on hand. Shares jumped 31%.
Land Securities faces rent shortfall
Landlord Land Securities (LAND.L) has collected just 60% of the rent due across its properties and only 29% of retail rents.
“COVID-19 has resulted in some customers taking longer to pay their rent and we continue to have supportive and constructive dialogue with our customers,” the company said Friday.
The company said it had seen “encouraging levels” of footfall since shopping centres, outlets and retail parks were allowed to reopen. Footfall has reached 60% of last year’s levels in the two weeks since non-essential retail shops were allowed to reopen. Spending has also been 22% higher than this time last year.
Land Securities said it was in a strong position, with £1.2bn of cash on hand, and intends to reinstate its dividend after it reports half-year results. Shares rose 1.3%.
European markets lacked momentum on Friday, on what is expected to be a quiet day due to a national holiday in the US.
Sentiment was tempered by the absence of US market activity. Stock markets are closed due an early national Independence Day holiday.
Closer to home, European PMI data will be in focus this morning, giving an idea of how service sectors across the Eurozone and UK have fared over the last month.
Asian markets rallied in overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) climbed 1.9%, the Shenzen Component (399001.SZ) rose 1.2%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) rose 1.1%, and Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) improved by 0.7%.
Chinese exchanges were boosted by better-than-expected survey data from the country’s service sector. Caixin’s Services PMI came in at 58.4, against a forecast of 53.2. PMIs are given on a scale of 0 to 100, with anything above 50 signalling growth and below marking contraction.