What to Watch: Taylor Wimpey and Ted Baker raise cash, BoE meets, markets dip

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
Taylor Wimpey has raised cash through a discounted share sale. (PA)

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

Taylor Wimpey raises £522m in discounted share sale

Housebuilding giant Taylor Wimpey (TW.L) shares slid more than 4% on Thursday after it raised around £522m ($655m) in sale of discounted shares.

The company raised around £22m more than planned with shares placed at a 4% discount, with the total raised worth around 11% of its existing shares.

Britain’s third biggest housebuilder said it aimed to start paying out dividends to shareholders again next year as it highlighted its strengthening recovery after reopening construction and sales sites.

Completions are significantly down over the past few months, but it said its order book had risen year-on-year to around £2.86bn last week, and forward indicators were strong.

Ted Baker raises cash

Fashion chain Ted Baker also announced it had raised £105m by issuing more heavily discounted shares on Thursday. It offered shares at a 51.5% discount on their closing price on 29 May.

The company has been focusing on online trading after the coronavirus-imposed shutdown battered in-store sales. It was already struggling before COVID-19 hit, with several profit warnings and challenges including losing its founder Ray Kelvin over disputed misconduct claims and accounting problems.

Bank of England stimulus expected

Analysts expect the Bank of England on Thursday to ramp up its bond-buying efforts even as it holds off on introducing negative interest rates in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has twice cut rates from 0.75% to 0.1% and added £200bn ($251bn) in new quantitative easing measures, taking the total size of its bond-buying program to £645bn.

The bank is widely expected to increase the target of its Asset Purchase Facility (APF) by £100bn on Thursday.

European stocks slide on second wave fears

European stocks slid as markets opened on Thursday, with new coronavirus cases in several US states and Beijing alarming investors.

Fears grew of a second wave, ending a two-day market rally fuelled by optimism about recovery from economic lockdowns and coronavirus treatment trials.

Britain’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE), which had seen its strongest two days in a fortnight earlier this week, was trading 0.5% lower at around 8.30am in London. Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) was down 0.1%, and France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was down 0.3%.

Concerns over cases elsewhere sent Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) down 0.5% overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite index (000001.SS) closed 0.1% higher, but the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index (^HSI) shed 0.3%.

Oil prices also slipped on Thursday as hopes of recovery in demand faltered.

What to expect in the US

US stocks looked set to open flat or lower on Thursday. S&P 500 (ES=F) and Dow Jones (YM=F) futures were down 0.3% and Nasdaq (NQ=F) futures were flat at around 3.35am eastern time.