Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

UK companies endure sharpest downturn since Brexit vote – business live

Rolling news coverage of markets, economics and business as purchasing managers indices show economy in decline

1.45pm GMT

Marks & Spencer has rehired the head of Tesco’s F&F clothing brand to be its new clothing boss, a fortnight after the struggling retailer blamed the division for its poor performance.

Marks & Spencer clothing and home is a great business which still has strong brand affection and huge potential. I left the business because I felt it was drifting in the wrong direction but now feel we have a real chance to make it special again. The new team has already started to improve product and value and I am looking forward to working with them.

1.15pm GMT

It looks like the warmish words of Xi Jinping will give some trade cheer to Wall Street.

Futures indicate that US stock markets are likely to rise gently at the opening bell. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average will rise by 0.15% each if it matches sales of the derivatives, while Nasdaq 100 futures currently point to a 0.22% rise.

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