The UK Health Security Agency said on Thursday that early findings had shown that people with Omicron were 50% to 70% less likely to need hospital care compared with previous variants of the coronavirus.
London stocks ended the last full trading day before Christmas in the black, with sentiment underpinned by news that the Omicron variant is less likely to land people in hospital.
European shares finished in the green on Thursday in slow pre-Christmas trade, as market participants punted on hopes the ‘Omicron’ variant of Covid-19 would not overwhelm health systems and lead to further restrictions.
Healthcare diagnostics manufacturer Quidel has agreed to buy Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, one of the world’s largest in vitro diagnostics companies, in a $6bn deal.
HICL Infrastructure has agreed to buy a further 25% interest in Road Management Group (RMG) - a holding company comprising two UK shadow toll roads - for up to around £25m.
Wall Street stocks were firmly in the green early on Thursday, putting major indices on track to extend their rally for a third straight session ahead of a slew of data points scheduled for later in the day.
US consumer sentiment improved in December, according to the University of Michigan's final December consumer sentiment index.
Hammerson chief executive officer and executive director Rita-Rose Gagné spent almost £0. 1m on shares in the company this week, it said on Thursday.
Gold and base metals exploration company Rockfire Resources has reached ‘preferred tenderer’ status in an open international tender, it announced on Thursday, for a 100% interest in the right to explore and mine a high-grade zinc deposit in Greece.
Wind sensor technology company Windar Photonics has received a second volume order under its global distribution agreement with Vestas Wind Systems, it announced on Thursday.
Claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged in the seven days ended 18 December after hitting their lowest level since 1969 two weeks earlier.
Durable goods orders placed with US factories increased in November, up 2. 5% month-on-month for the biggest rise in six months, exceeding forecasts and indicating that steady demand would likely help drive production growth early in 2022. The increase partly reflected a sharp rise in commercial aircraft orders.
Wall Street futures were in the green prior to the opening bell on Thursday, putting major indices on track to extend their rally for a third straight session ahead of a slew of data points scheduled for later in the day.
Segro said on Thursday that it has bought a portfolio of offices on the Bath Road, Slough, from clients of AEW for £425m.
US consumer prices rose at their fastest pace in nearly 40 years in November amid surging inflation.
Caspian Sunrise updated the market on its operations on Thursday, reporting that it had now received the 25-year production licence for the South Yelemes structure.
Analysts at Berenberg reiterated their 16. 0p target price on cruise line operator Carnival on Thursday, stating the group's recovery was "beyond the horizon".
Strategic Minerals updated the market on progress in relation to funding of the Leigh Creek Copper Mine on Thursday, as well as progress on addressing the conditional elements of the project's programme for environmental protection and rehabilitation (PEPR).
Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Thursday that there would be no further restrictions before Christmas and said there were no plans for any announcements on post-Christmas curbs this week.
London stocks had edged a little higher by midday on Thursday, with travel and hospitality issues pacing the advance as worries about the Omicron variant eased, although volumes were light as we head into the Christmas break.
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